I am not a hero

By George F. Drake, 7 December 2009

I recently wrote the following to a reporter in Seoul, Korea.
“When I opened my photo exhibit in the main lobby of the new city hall of the Metropolitan City of Gwangju, South Korea, there were a lot of speeches given by Mayor Park Gwang-tae, by the Vice Mayor, by an officer of the US Forces, Korea, etc.  All the speeches had been printed in the program for the event, in English and in Korean. When I read what was to be said I was shocked. It was “George this, George that, etc, etc,” ad nauseum. I immediately rewrote my speech and gave a copy to the interpreter.

When I got up to speak I said “If a messenger comes bringing bad news it is not nice to shoot the messenger.” I paused and the sentence was put into Korean. A number of persons laughed. I continued “and if the messenger comes bringing good news it is totally inappropriate to make the messenger into a hero.” [pause, translation] “I am not a hero. I am merely a messenger. I am a sociologist. I tell stories. Focus on the story, not on George Drake. Thousands, nay, tens of thousands of GIs did as much and even more than I for the children of Korea during the war. THAT is the story. Focus on it.” And I sat down.

I can understand the need of a reporter to interview a single person, or a few persons for a story. You can’t interview a thousand persons. The real story that I have to tell is the immense and formerly totally unknown scale and scope of what we GIs did for the children. As a professional sociologist I am interested in collective behavior, what the group did, not what any one individual did or does. I collected almost 2,000 documents on this subject and very few of those articles attempted to take the broad view and make a generalization to US Forces Korea. That is what I tried to do. I am fully aware of the limitations of my data but I can still say with confidence that the UN Forces in Korea saved the lives of over TEN THOUSAND CHILDREN, helped sustain upwards of 54,000 children in orphanages. Helped build or repair over 400 orphanages. Donated millions of dollars from our pay of about $50 a month, wrote thousands upon thousands of letters home seeking help for the orphans and brought in thousands of TONS of material aid. On one occasion the army had to lease an additional freighter to bring to Korea all the packages for the orphanages that were piling up in San Francisco! THAT is the story, not what George Drake did. What “Professor,” “Doctor” “Sociologist” George Drake did was to put all these little stories together and come up with an incredible big story. I am a story teller, not a hero. Get it?”

Since writing the above I have given more thought as to why I am so sensitive about this issue.  Sure as hell, I am not shy around reporters and have hundreds of articles written about me and my various projects.   As I look over the matter I discern two main underlying reasons for my irritation about being called a “hero” by reporters writing about the War Child of Korea.  The first reason is that when a reporter does that he/she doesn’t ‘get’ the real story.  The story I am trying to tell is one about the compassion of our forces in Korea during the war years (and following).    I want to ensure that the story of the compassion of our young men and women who served in Korea and their aid to the children that suffered so greatly in those times becomes part of the history of the Korean War.   When a reporter focuses on me rather than on the story I feel that I have failed to achieve my goal of making the world aware of the incredible efforts expended by the men and women of our armed forces to aid the war child of Korea.

But there is a second reason I get really upset with this false emphasis on George Drake rather than on the US ‘Army of Compassion’ which represented the finest values of American society.  There is a personal, egotistical danger in such reporting.  Everyone (?) loves to have their ego stroked, get their name in the paper, win a medal, receive letters of commendation, etc.  When such is fully deserved it is OK.  The problem is that George Drake does not warrant such recognition for his work for the orphans, the collective men and women of the armed forces we sent to Korea deserve that recognition.  When I accepted the honor of being made an “Honorary Citizen” of the Metropolitan City of Gwangju, South Korea, I made it clear to Mayor Park Gwang-tae that I was accepting it on behalf of the US Forces in Korea during the war years.  I wanted it made clear that I was merely the person who ‘told the story’ of the efforts of our men and women to save the lives of the children. 

I guess I have a fear of allowing what happened to Col. Dean Hess happen to me.  He wrote a book about his experiences in Korea and included in it a section on the Kiddy Car Airlift.  He wrote it in such a manner that, without actually saying so, the inference was that he was the one who was responsible for the rescue of the 950 orphans and 100 orphanage staff whose lives were saved in that rescue.  The book was followed almost immediately with a film of the same name in which the innuendo became transferred into the true story of the rescue operation.   Immediately Hess became a hero.  He was given the highest medals of the Korean government.  Scores of articles appeared telling how he rescued the children.  All of it was false and the tragedy of it all was that not once did Col. Dean Hess say “Stop.  That is not the way it happened.  You have to talk to Chaplain Russell Blaisdell or his Chaplain’s Assistant to get the ‘on the ground’ report of that rescue.”

Hess got so caught up in the glory of being a hero that he shamelessly accepted credit for what he did not do and never backed off from the fraud that was now being perpetrated in his name.  Hess began to believe the press reports of his role in the rescue of the children and to this day (December, 2009) he has not publically stated the well documented truth, namely that it was not he who saved the kids, it was Chaplain Blaisdell and SSgt Strang.  The problem is, once these stories get published in the press and appear in a popular movie the story has a life of its own that feeds on itself.  The movie was a gross travesty of justice and a fiction passed off as a true story.  It showed Dean Hess walking with the children from Inchon to Kimpo Airport.  Not a single child walked.  They all came by trucks.  Later, as Hess was getting medals for his rescue of the children the reporters cited the movie story for ‘facts’ on the rescue.  And Hess never corrected them.

I have no intention of becoming a second Dean Hess, accepting recognition for acts that I did not do.  Yes, I was a very active member of our little company orphanage committee but I was merely the corresponding secretary.  I was not the chairperson.  I was not the treasurer.  I was not on the committee that supervised the orphanage.  I was just one more committee member.  On a larger scale, I was just one of thousands upon thousands of US servicemen and women doing as much and even more than I.   A few, such as Chaplain Blaisdell and Mike Strang are true heroes.  The body of individuals who made up the ‘army of compassion’ is, collectively, the hero.  It is the group that warrants special recognition and not one or another individual who did no different than the rest.

The Missionary and Western Education in Nineteenth-Century China

By George F. Drake

Submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of

In Sociology and Social Institutions

In the Graduate Division of the University of California at Berkeley


H. F. Schurmann

J. R. Levenson

W. Eberhard

Committee in charge.

Deposited in the University Library March 3, 1959, signed Donald Coney, Librarian

Prolegomenon – April 2006

After not seeing my M.A. thesis for almost 50 years I decided to write to the University of California library and request a copy.  Somehow, in my worldly travels after leaving Berkeley, I lost my own copy of the thesis and never had a reason to write for another copy of it.  With it now in hand I have given thought to this document and its meaning in the contemporary world.

First of all, though, let me provide some historical notes.  On graduating High School in 1948, as I had no money to go to college, I took off for South America with a bicycle and $180.  By the time I got to Panama I was broke so I took a job with the Inter-American Geodetic Survey, working in the jungles and mountain tops establishing first-order triangulation networks in Panama and, later, in Guatemala.  I returned to the U.S. to enter Rutgers University just as the Korean War broke out so instead of going to college I ended up in the army.  I was sent to the Army Language School in Monterey, California to learn Chinese Mandarin.  In mid 1952 I was sent to Korea and was assigned to a radio intelligence company near the front lines.  And so began my interest and involvement in Asia.

My college education actually began with extension classes taught by professors from the University of California on the campus of the Seoul National University in the center of that terribly devastated city.  On discharge from the army I enrolled at Monterey Peninsula College to finish the Associate in Arts degree and then moved to Berkeley where I was admitted as a student in the History Department of the University of California at Berkeley.  Tuition was $55 per semester.  On completion of the B.A. in History I switched to the Sociology Department for the Master’s Degree.

In a seminar on Social Change that I took with Professor Joseph R. Levenson I selected to write a paper on social change in China and the role of the Western Missionary.  As a grad student I now had access to the stacks in the campus library and I took full advantage of it.  A number of the books that I found on the role of the missionary in China had a book plate “From the Library of John Fryer”.  On enquiry I found that he was the first Agassiz Professor of Oriental Language and Literature at UC, Berkeley and had formerly been a missionary in China.  He left his books to the U.C. Library on retirement.  I thought I could save a lot of time in my search for material to write my seminar paper by seeking the list of books he donated to the library.  When I reviewed the list of works he donated I noticed that he had also donated several cartons of manuscripts and personal papers.  I was told these would be in the university archive.

The university archivist was an ancient woman (95 years old?  At least she seemed so to me.)  On enquiry about the Fryer Papers she responded “Oh, I remember him.  I think those boxes are up in the attic.  Come back in a couple of days and I will have them for you.”  I offered to go up into the attic to get the boxes and she responded that one had to walk on planks and it really was not a safe place for college students to go rummaging.  She also commented that they would be covered with decades of dust and had to be cleaned before I used them.

The material in those boxes constituted a treasure for me.  I was the first person to open those boxes since they were received by the university.  The contents were not even catalogued yet by the library staff.  Here was Fryer’s diary of his sea voyage from England to China and his notes on his visit to Peking (Beijing) and to the Great Wall of China.  Here were several of his letter books wherein he kept carbon copies of his correspondence with friends and relatives.  Since some of the letters had addresses of members of his family I wrote to all of them hoping that if any were still alive, or if descendents of his family members were alive, they might have more documents that could be added to the material I was gathering for term papers.  In that way I was able to add to the Fryer Papers at the UC Library.

It is interesting to note that the archivist allowed me to take Fryer’s diary and other documents home with me to copy using my portable typewriter.  Such would never be allowed today.  Professor Levenson was especially intrigued with my find and reported it to other China scholars who came from other universities to review the material.  Years later, while I was serving as Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at Western Washington University I noted in a circular that the University of California  had just finished a special exhibit of the John Fryer material and a series of talks about his life and tenure as the first Agassiz Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature.  I was truly disappointed that I did not know of this special event earlier and attend the sessions as I was the person who “discovered” the Fryer papers and the first “scholar” (albeit a bit wet behind the ears) to have used them in academic research. 

So now I have before me this document that I wrote almost fifty years ago.  What are my reactions?  Well, the first reaction was one of mild satisfaction.  While finding a lot of shortcomings in the paper I felt that it was a decent job.  It certainly showed that I was able to roam through a substantial amount of primary source material written by missionaries in China and also find relevant material in the theological writings of those times to give meaning to the arguments of the missionaries as they defended their work in China.  I think it showed that I could go beyond the library in the pursuit of knowledge and follow trails to other countries (Australia, South Africa, and England) to locate relatives of John Fryer. 

What most intrigues me about my M.A. Thesis is that many of the arguments the missionaries used a hundred and fifty years ago to justify their various forms of social action, or non-action, are still being used today.  The arguments of the Fundamentalists today echo the statements of their forbearers in the China mission field in the later half of the nineteenth century and the arguments of Liberal Christians today are not too much different from those uttered by their intellectual colleagues of a century and a half ago.  The more things change the more they stay the same. 

Today, as I look about me in the year 2006, I see religious fervor as the basis for much of the conflict throughout the world, in Iraq, in Sri Lanka, in Kashmir, in Pakistan, in the Middle-East and even in America.  Fundamentalism, whether in Muslim nations or so-called Christian nations seems to provide the moral basis for conflict and even war.  The conflict between history and value that we saw in China back in the later half of the 19th Century is evident today in the Muslim nations that are facing the exigencies of survival in the 21st century.

Frankly, now at age 75, I have enjoyed going back to my days at U.C. Berkeley and reliving some of the excitement of locating the Fryer Papers and the satisfaction I got from being able to bring such a rich body of material to my seminars.  I’ve not changed much in the manuscript.  Perhaps a few changes in punctuation and a few grammatical corrections were made but no substantive changes were attempted.  So, here it is again, my M.A. Thesis, presented in March of 1959 to fulfill the requirements for the Masters Degree in the Department of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley.

12 April, 2006
2900 Dakin St.
Bellingham, Washington 98226

Table of Contents

Prolegomenon                                                                                                           3


I.  Introduction                                                                                                          7

II. The Missionary and the Establishment of Schools .                                          10

III. Religious Instruction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17

IV. The Study of the Classics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

V. Teaching Science:

A. Negative Arguments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

B. Affirmative Arguments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

VI. Science and Religion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29

VII.  Teaching English . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

VIII. Textbooks and Secular Literature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

IX. Historical Notes on Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

X.  Missionaries and Change – Social, Cultural and Political . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..49

XI. A School System for China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

XII. Christ – Against – Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59

XIII. The Protestant Ethic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..62

XIV. Emergence of the Social Gospel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  65

XV. The Missionary and the Social Gospel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..70

XVI. Concluding Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  75

Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..77

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91



In the nineteenth century there was a movement of Protestant missionaries to China. The first missionary arrived in Canton in 1807. One hundred years later there were five thousand missionaries representing eighty-six societies at work in the empire.

The missionary had one primary objective–to convert the Chinese people to Christianity. To attain this goal numerous methods were used–preaching, bible and tract distribution, and the establishment of schools and hospitals.

It is an accepted fact that religious bodies that do not control the education of their youth lose them.  The Protestant missionaries in China realized this, and so established schools for the children of converts.  Soon, though, schools were preceding the church in new areas and were used as a direct evangelical influence. Had these schools only taught Chinese studies and the Gospel we would not be so interested in them here.  It is because they identified themselves with another culture that they are significant.  While one can readily see the reasons for teaching the Gospel and regular Chinese studies, one questions the rationale that induced the missionary to teach western sciences and western learning generally.

The problems that are discussed here are of two kinds: the first kind being the immediate pressing problems of the day– the practical problems of a missionary at work in a foreign field attempting to spread Christianity among the heathen.  He questions whether he should hire non-Christian teachers for his school, have heathen students in classes as well as children of converts, teach the Chinese classics or not, translate secular works into Chinese, teach sciences in the missionary schools, and so on.

The second kind of problem is the broader theological one of the relationship of Christianity to culture. It is the same problem that arises when one questions the relationship between Church and state; of Christian ethics in economic life; of Christian faith in public education. The problem is with us today as it was with the early leaders of the Church. In analyzing the problem as it affects the missionary movement in the nineteenth century China, we shall not analyze all of the sides of this major problem, but rather wish to show how, in a specific time and place, the answers found served as a force for social action.  The answers to the daily problems of method differ according to the different solutions to the theological question.

Once having seen the many types of action other than preaching in which the missionary became engaged, we will proceed to the larger question of motivation and follow this motivation to its sources in America and in England.  While the  motivation will, in some respects, resemble that of the Protestant Ethic an expressed by Max Weber in his works, we will see that derives from the Reformation, but

does not come into full force as a social movement until the nineteenth century; namely, that which is referred to as the social Gospel, cultural Protestantism, or liberal Protestantism.

While Max Weber discussed the Protestant ethic in relationship to the religions of China, he did not touch on this question of the relationship of “Christ-to-Culture,” except as it applied to the Calvinist concept of “calling” and its relations to economics.  I know of no work that seeks to clarify the force that motivated the missionaries to indulge in their many secular enterprises. Of course, we need not use the missionary in China to seek this motivation. Any of the activities of the churches during the later half of the nineteenth century in many fields of social reform in

this country and in England could be so used. A study of  F. D. Maurice and the Social Democrats in England might serve just as well.  Therefore, while we deal with a specific time and place, the basic problem is the same one that had to be resolved by the early Christians in their relations with the Jewish and Roman cultures, and will have to be resolved by the Christians today in their relations with all those nations and peoples seeking social reforms.

Several theologians have discussed of the problem of the relation of religion to culture.  Albert Schweitzer, in “The Evolution of Ethics” (The Atlantic Monthly, November 1958) discusses the influence exerted on action by the various concepts of the material world.  His two categories are “affirmative” and “negative” world concepts.  For the purposes of this paper I feel that the frame of reference of H. Richard Niebuhr, as used in Christ and Culture, is more applicable. Niebuhr envisions a continuum rather than a dichotomy of thought.  His term “Christ-against-Culture” is synonymous to Schweitzer’s “negative” world concept, and the term “The

Christ of Culture” is comparable to Schweitzer’s “affirmative” world concept.  The value of Niebuhr’s work is that he shows clearly the many positions that can be held theologically between the two extremes.  I have not utilized his three central categories in this paper, as the data available precluded such fine distinctions in the Chinese missionary activities.  While my central category is more akin to Max Weber’s “Protestant Ethic,” I still wish to agree with Niebuhr that the range from a position of no action to a position of action is a continuum and not a simple dichotomy.

In developing this paper I have mainly used works by missionaries. Of the literature of missionaries Weber says, “This certainly varies in value but in the last analysis remains relatively the most authentic.” (The Religion of China, p. 251). The most extensive single source used was the Chinese Recorder, a monthly missionary publication, published in Shanghai. Of documentary material, there were the private papers of Dr. John Fryer, for thirty-five years the director of the Translation Bureau of the Kiangnan Arsenal in Shanghai.  Besides the Fryer papers available in the University of California Library, I was fortunate enough to obtain the use of letters of John Fryer in the possession of his nephew in England. These later documents are referred to as the Benjamin Fryer Papers.

Interviews with a number of persons who have first-hand knowledge of the China Missionary field were held by the writer. Fr. Serruys, of the Congregation of the Propaganda who served for many years as a Roman Catholic Missionary to China, gave numerous hours of his time to my questions.  Dr. George Thorngate III, M.D., served as a medical missionary in China for twenty years with the Seventh Day Baptist mission in and near Shanghai.  Dr. Andrew I. Cheng, currently with the Army Language School at Monterey, California, attended mission schools from kindergarten through college, and has himself served as a missionary.  One other person interviewed was Mr. Cornelius Vanderbreggen, Jr., founder and leader of the Reapers’ Fellowship, a non-sectarian evangelical organization currently working in Europe, with its base in Holland.  In discussions with Mr. Vanderbreggen I noticed his use of many “fundamentalist” arguments; arguments similar to those used by missionaries in China whose Christ was a “Christ-against-Culture.”  Discussions with ministers of various faiths have helped to clarify the relationships studied in this paper.



When one looks at the broad general picture of missionary activity in China during the nineteenth century one is impressed with the great amount of educational work engaged in by the Protestant missionary.  A report of 1899 shows that the mission bodies had a total of one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one schools in China, with thirty-four thousand three hundred thirty-one students. (1)  It is incorrect to consider that all the mission groups, or all of the missionaries of any one particular body, were equally interested in educational work.  Not all of them even agreed that educational work was a part of the missionary’s job.

A large group of missionaries felt that it was the job of the missionary to preach the gospel of Christ to the heathen, and that everything else was of no value.

By what command are we out here today?  This. Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, teaching– what?–geography, mathematics, science, etc.?  No. But teaching all things whatsoever I have commanded you.  This is the sacred charge, and in proportion as we emphasize science and worldly civilization in teaching, in such a proportion will our scholars be less spiritual. (2)

For those missionaries who thought that it was a legitimate activity of the missionary to engage in the educational field, the motivation differed.  First of all, there was the reasoning that saw the school a protecting agency.  That is, it was to be used to instruct the converts and the children of converts in Christian beliefs.  It was to keep them from heathen influence and to strengthen their religion.

This was the basic rationale given by both the Protestants and the Catholics for the establishment of schools. “The early work of the Catholic Church was confined largely to elementary education, and consisted mainly of religious instruction.  The only Catholic schools which were universally established were prayer schools, or catechetical schools, in which Christian children learned the catechism.”(3)  Most of the early schools were of this nature.(4)

As the number of converts grew, it was essential, for the continuation of the Church, to develop a native ministry and soon this, too, was added to the reasons for the development of schools.  These schools were to produce “… a class of native teachers, preachers, etc., who, having been brought up from childhood trained in the Holy Scriptures, under Christian influence, and separated from heathen influence, may become helpers in the Gospel, whose equals can scarcely be expected from other sources.  This, then, should be the aim — to raise up native laborers.”(5)  And again, “The end in view should be to raise up native helpers.,”(6)  This did not cease to be a purpose for the establishment of schools, nor did the former reason, for that matter.  To these basic reasons others were added.

The attainment of an education was of significant value to the Chinese, but it cost the student’s family a good deal for him to receive such.  It was necessary for him to hire an unemployed scholar to tutor the youth, alone or in company with children of other parts of the family.  Some missionaries felt that it would be easy to take advantage of this desire for education on the part of the Chinese, by offering free education to those who would come to the Christian Schools.  Once in the school, along with elementary Chinese studies, the students would receive instruction in the Christian religion. The school was envisioned as a direct evangelizing agency. Some missionaries decried this type of action. “Mission schools are not essential to the missionary in China to secure for him an audience, or to make himself understood by the people.”(7) wrote one missionary in 1869.  This was a minority opinion.

While preaching was recognized as the primary method of evangelical work, the use of the school for evangelizing the children of a community was soon accepted by many of the missionary bodies.(8)  For the most part these schools were but day schools where a student would go for his daily exercises to return home at the end of the day’s lessons.  A writer in the North China Herald in November of 1851 suggested that the mission boards would have spent their money better on building schools for the children “where the first seeds of the Gospel should be sown in this country to reap the quickest harvest…”(9) than on building churches in the poorer parts of the city of Shanghai.

The evangelizing purpose of the schools, stated in the most conservative terminology, is expressed by a prominent layman in the Church Mission Society of London:

School teaching is a lawful expenditure of Missionary funds only when its sole object is conversion of Souls.  It may be that in some countries education is the only method available; still, if it cannot be conducted on strictly Christian principles, it should not be undertaken.  The School must be opened, and closed, with prayer, and the Bible be taught without any reserve, or limitation.  Unless the scholars attend the Prayers, and religious teaching, they should not be admitted.  There is a tendency in some quarters to devote Missionary Funds to Higher Education; this error should be guarded against.  The object of Missions is Spiritual, not Intellectual, to make Christians, not Scholars, or Citizen.(10)

Most of the schools had religious instruction as a part of the training in the school from the very first, with the students knowing that they were to receive this added instruction along with their normal Chinese studies. In the annual report of the Anglo-Chinese School for December 1865, John Fryer, headmaster of the school, reports an exception:

As yet, no direct Christian instruction has been attempted.  After the Chinese New Year, however, it will perhaps be best to commence by causing a text of scripture to be read daily in English and explained in the same manner as the Chinese classics. Afterwards, as the pupils advance, the Bible itself can be introduced and lessons read regularly in the routine of school work.(11)

The difference between the school Fryer was running and the day school where religion was the normal course for the students was the social status of students being reached.  In the more numerous rural day schools the students were poor and were willing to accept religious instruction if only they could learn to read.  In Fryer’s school the students were paying fifty taels per year to attend.  Essentially, though, the concept was the same — to obtain a captive audience in a school room and give them instruction in the Christian religion.  Even though the majority of the schools established by the missionaries in China were of this nature and purpose there were those who thought that they did not serve even this use.

Among those who thought that they were an evangelical failure were Dr. Legge, Rev. R. H. Graves, and Rev. C. F. Kupfer.(12)

Reasons for deeming the schools a failure as an evangelizing agency varied from the argument that the only valid method of evangelizing was preaching, to the argument that they did not teach enough material besides the religious subjects.

Mission schools, of the right kind, are not established simply to teach religion, and so bring about the conversion of the pupils.  They look beyond this, and propose, in addition, to give to these converted pupils such an intellectual and moral training as will fit them to be influential men in society and in the church, teachers and leaders of others.(13)

Another reason offered is that the students did not stay in the school long enough to receive the full benefits of the instruction.  Inducements were used to keep the students in the school, and some institutions required that their students write an indenture, agreeing to remain through a course of study covering up to ten years.(14)

The diversity of opinion on any one matter relevant to the missionary enterprises in China is obvious in this one topic of the amount of religious worship and/or instruction necessary to make money spent on such a school a legitimate expenditure of funds.  In 1882 a committee composed of rate-payers of the foreign leases of Shanghai, made a survey of the schools of the city that could be taken over and made into public schools.  They wrote to the trustees of the Anglo-Chinese School of the city:

…as to the character of the education given at the Anglo-Chinese School being, in the words of the trust, “in accordance with the principles of the Church Mission Society,” it will be seen that at most, this is but negatively the case, no direct proselytizing being attempted and, although this fact tends to raise the character of the school generally, the conclusion is evident that the institution is not at the moment literally fulfilling the objects which the Rev. John Hobson as well as subsequent donors had in view.

The committee believed that if the trustees would give the school to the council, that it could be “conducted as a Protestant institution, to the same or even to a further extent than is at present the case..!”(15)  The trustees replied that “… The reverent daily reading of the Bible in School is surely not the least effective method of promoting this object.”(16)

The school was also seen as an indirect evangelizing agency.  A child would be provided with a book for his daily recitation, shouting out the lesson, “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty …”  In the evening the student would take the book home with him and the rest of the family would look it over and examine it.  If any member of the household understood a few characters, he would read them aloud to the group.  The scholars thus became, in the eyes of the Church, truth-bearers to their own homes.(17)  The missionaries would use the children as an opening into a family, visiting the home of the child and talking with the older members of the family, slowly introducing the message of Christianity.

Another purpose accorded the schools was that of being an opening wedge into a community, in that scholarship was held in high esteem in the Chinese culture, and anyone who opened a school was accorded respect.  This kind of work obtained the friendship of some of the leaders of the community and permission for the open propagation of Christianity.  To a lesser extent, the permeation of the non-Christian community with Christian ideas and ideals was sufficient reason to warrant the establishment of a school in the community.  That is, there was no direct evangelizing at first; rather a preparation for the more aggressive evangelistic work that would follow.(18)

From the one extreme we go to the other. The one school of thought holds that it is a misuse of mission funds to teach anything in schools other than religion.  The “liberal” Protestant had another viewpoint on this matter:

There is usually too much religious teaching and too continuous exhortation.  Too much nauseates.  Students in the West would revolt against it … The Chinese cannot stand a continual religious revival any more than we can … More is accomplished by the daily influence of the teacher upon the students than by his preaching or imparting of religious instruction …. A Christian college… should make cultured men; it should teach them their relations to other men; it should bring them into their true and normal relationship to God.  Work conducted on these lines may not perhaps bring a great number to our theological department, but still I think you will grant that we are doing something toward the evangelization of the world, for whenever we bring our students nearer to the kingdom of God we have not failed in our work…(19)

Other missionaries have stated the purpose of their schools as the “…training of lads and young men for any honorable sphere in life, under distinctly Christian influences;”(20)  to train preachers, Christian teachers, doctors and businessmen, and to prepare all who come for good citizenship;” (21) and “to supply Christian education along Western lines to sons of middle and upper classes, and to fit them to become good citizens.”(22)   In each of the above three schools the number of heathen students outnumbered the Christian students.  The evangelizing motivation was still there, even though mentioned in but one of the reports, for the other two show that religious instruction was required of all the students, non-Christian as well as Christian.  The stated goals are not “to convert all students to Christianity.” The legitimate purpose of missionary schools had broadened widely.

Mission schools were conceived of as places where the students were to receive more than religious instruction.  They were to be prepared for a role as leaders in the new society that was developing in China.  The school was to make scholars of them, learned not only in the lore of the Orient, but also in the ways of the West.  The mission of the Christian school was to introduce the new ethic to China.  It was felt that it the student could but respect the truth in a field such as chemistry, then he could not disregard it in the field of’ religion.  The teaching of sciences took over more and more of the time of the staff.

The great desideratum of the age is practically manifested in the establishment of schools in which the natural sciences occupy the most prominent place in the course of instruction.  From these schools a more vigorous generation will come forth, powerful in understandings, qualified to appreciate and accomplish all that is truly great, and bring forth fruit of universal usefulness.  Through them the resources, the wealth and the strength of empires will be incalculably augmented; and when, by the increase of knowledge, the weight which presses on human existence has been heightened, and one man is no longer overwhelmed by the pressure of earthly cares and troubles, then, and not till then, will his intellect, purified and refined, be able to rise to-higher objects.(23)

“Our desire, as Missionaries,” one writer suggested in the Chinese Recorder in 1880, “is to renovate China.  We expect to do this … by establishing schools of every class from the lowest to the highest; in which shall be imparted the knowledge of western science and arts as well as of religion…”(24) Another missionary stated, “Our education ought to promote general contentment, lessen the lawless violence which is now so common in China, stop the onslaught of religious persecution, diminish the distinction between rich and poor, procure more exemption to the wage-earner from incessant and exhausting toil, and make the conditions of employment more humane and comfortable.”(25)

In summation, we see that the missionary who established schools did so for a multiplicity of purposes. The most conservative did so merely to protect his interests.  Others saw them instruments for evangelization, while the most liberal saw in them the means for the renovation of the nation and the amelioration of the social ills of mankind.



If the school was conceived of as an agency to protect the interests of the Christian community and to strengthen it, religious instruction, of perforce, would constitute a major part of the curriculum.  An example of the subjects the students would be confronted with in this type of school is given in the August number of the Chinese Recorder for the year 1889:

The subjects for the first year are very simple, consisting of the Creed, Lord’s Prayer and Commandments, a number of hymns, the Christian Three Character Classic, and the smaller Catechism of Christian Doctrine.  The subjects for the other three years embrace the Gospel, both Classical and Colloquial, the Bible Picture Book, both of the Old and New Testaments, the Catechism of the Creed, the 100 Texts of the Irish Church Mission, and various other Books, all distinctively Christian.(26)

In these schools the staple of instruction was the Bible.  Hundreds of students memorized the Gospels, and many of them memorized the entire New Testament.(27)  This type of school, in the pure form, was more commonly the type developed by the Catholic Church and by fundamentalist Protestant sects.

For those missionaries who looked upon the school as a means of proselytizing, religious instruction played a large part in the curriculum.  But among those who accepted the school as a tool of the Church, there was a wide range of thought as to the amount of religious education to be utilized to attain the avowed  end.  Too little religious instruction would not serve the purpose of bringing the students to Christ; too much would turn them from the school.  If we follow the no school, school to protect, school to evangelize continuum, we find that among those who accepted the school as an evangelical tool were many who thought that the instructor should do everything within his power to “proselytize” the students who attended.(28)  “Let us never…forget,.” writes one female missionary, “that our business is to win them (the students) to Christ., to make them intelligent Christians, and inspire them with a holy zeal for soul-saving…”(29)

Christian education in the mission schools was considered as being of two types; one type being extensive, and the other intensive. The intensive type was of the direct evangelical nature, and was concerned with the individual. The extensive approach was a more indirect type of approach. It was designed to exert a wider influence on society. The more extensive approach called for the introduction of many other subjects than religion, but subjects within which the instructor could introduce Christian ideals and truths.  The student may not have left the school a convert to Christianity, but at the same time he was not antagonistic to it and, in fact, often proved to be ripe ground for the direct approach.  Many of the schools used both the intensive and the extensive approach at the same time.  Others used but one or the other.  We saw above  how the Anglo – Chinese School in Shanghai was called upon by the ratepayers of Shanghai to turn the school over to them,  so that they could conduct it in a manner more in keeping with what they thought a mission school should be.  In that case the school administration was not giving enough religious education to suit the lay members of the community but the administration felt that it was fulfilling its mission by a daily reading from the Gospel. In 1881 a minister suggested that a union college should be established in Canton:

Not a theological school, not a school in which religious teaching is given undue prominence, but one after the model of our colleges at home, where the first thing would be the study of English, and afterwards a thorough training in the arts course … while religion is not made conspicuous or brought forward in a way to offend or drive pupils away, yet the whole tone and attitude should be thoroughly Christian. (30)

John Fryer, in submitting the second annual report for the Anglo-Chinese School in Shanghai in 1867, pointed out that he had not started direct religious instruction in the school beyond the reading and the explaining of texts from the Bible.  “The reading books, however,” he states, “contain so many allusions to Christianity that its leading truths have already been explained in the course of the reading lessons.”(31)  In 1881 when the Anglo-Chinese College was organized in Foochow, the local paper reported:

While this enterprise was begun and will be carried on to a large extent by the American Methodist Episcopal Mission, the constitution is entirely nonsectarian in character.  It will be, as a matter of course, under Christian influences; but non-Christian as well as Christian Chinese youth are admitted, and no coercion is used with regard to religious belief.(32)

In a collection of replies to a questionnaire sent to mission schools in China in 1909 we find that of the one hundred and thirteen schools replying eighty-three of them required attendance at Bible classes, and eleven of them made such attendance optional.  Ninety-seven of the same schools made it compulsory to attend the religious exercises of the school while only six of them made such attendance optional.  (The remaining schools gave no reply to these questions).(33)  Of course these returns are quite incomplete and the proportions cannot be accepted as being valid for all of China but at the same time we can see from them that there were some schools, at least, that did not make the attendance of religious classes and exercises mandatory.  In that they were Christian missionary schools they must have thought that they were able to fulfill their mission in the more indirect, extensive manner.



The only subject taught in the typical Chinese School was the classics.  Through this medium the student rose to a position of status in his community and nation.  In his ability to pass the local and regional examinations the classical student made himself available for public office. With the attainment of the status that goes with an acknowledged mastery of the classics went the accompanying rewards of power and wealth. In the Chinese social system obtaining at the time covered by this paper, classical studies were the only “useful’ studies that one could pursue.  It is natural that the missionary, when opening his school, should consider the problems attendant upon offering such studies in the mission school.  A number of the missionaries felt that to teach such subjects was a waste of Christian money. This view was similar to that which held that schools per se were not a valid mission agency, or that if they were conducted they should only teach religious subjects. Another reason given against the offering of the classics in the mission schools was that it lent prestige to false religions.

The most dangerous literature in a land where Christianity is not yet firmly established is the so called high standard literature, which lays claim to something divine, and yet contains not an atom of regenerating power, while its writers are worshipped as gods. The Christian schools which make these writings a main factor in their curriculum are rapidly preparing the elements for an eclectic religion in China.  Christ will be acknowledged as one of the great sages.  Ideas will be gathered to fill up the deficiencies of Confucianism.

Christianity will be accommodated to paganism. Indeed, everything will be borrowed from Christ, except the essential.(34)

Surprisingly, some opposition to the teaching of the classics in the missionary schools came from the parents of the students. They felt that such learning was dead, and that the new learning was of more value. More time should be spent on English studies and less on the Chinese studies.(35)  Essentially, though, most of the missionaries recognized the fact that they would have to offer Chinese studies in one fashion or another or their schools would be empty.(36)  To use the classics as an inducement to gather students into the evangelical influence of the school was a basic tactic.

It was also felt by the missionary that to educate a Chinese youth without giving him a solid foundation in the classics would make him unqualified for a place in his own society.  Timothy Richard felt that there was a danger of Europeanizing or Americanizing the pupils to the extent of making them lose touch with their own people.  Other missionary educators expressed this same concern at the general conferences of the missionaries in 1877 and 1899 as well as at the meetings of the Educational Association of China.(37)

Another purpose for the teaching of the classics in the mission schools was to enable the student to engage in argument with the trained Confucians.  Without knowledge of the classics he would not even get a hearing, and his message would fall to the ground as being based on ignorance.

“The men who go forth from the schools must attain to respectability among the literary class.  They regard knowledge of the Classics as education, and their opinion must be respected.  As well might at home teaching be made a profession without having studied Latin and Greek….men must be prepared for the conflict between truth and error. The Chinese will not surrender their ancient fortress without a conflict, and so those from the schools must meet their brethren, according to the flesh, on their own ground.(38)

Of course, all this is not to say that the students will be given the classics in the same manner as they would receive them in any Chinese school of the old style. The student would have the classics presented to him in such a fashion that they would be able to see how Christianity was the fulfillment of the classics and that the Bible was a better book than the books of Confucius.

John Fryer gives us an account of the nature of the course given to the students in the classics.

On alternate days the Canton teacher lectures on the Chinese Classics and the Poetry of the T’ang Dynasty.  Afterwards each scholar repeats the portion lectured upon by heart and then gives an oral or written abstract of the lecture. This is followed by writing essays, repeating lessons learnt at home and writing Chinese Antitheses or composing Chinese Poetry.(39)

Fryer pointed out that with the advancement of the students in their English studies, their attainments in their classical studies suffered. He reported, “Several who are somewhat advanced in English cannot translate their own English composition into intelligible to say nothing of correct Chinese, through their ignorance of the use of some of the commonest characters.(40)

In the 1909 questionnaire above quoted, we find that sixty-four of the schools reporting gave instruction in language and classical studies; four of the schools did not give any such instruction and forty-five of those reporting did not indicate one way or the other.(41)



  1. Negative Arguments.

One of the most discussed problems in relation to the subjects to be taught in the mission schools was the place science and western learning in general was to have.  In this debate there were those who felt that it had no place at all in the schools.  To support their position they offered a number of reasons.  Rev. R. Lechler suggested that the subjects taught in the schools should be as Chinese as possible, with the exception of the teaching of the Christian religion.  Other than that they should be conducted on the same principle that Chinese schools generally were.(42)  Another reason was to the effect that it was easier to explain the truths of the Gospel without having to give the complexities of science.

It needs no demonstration, said Rev. J. Butler of Ningpo, when you tell a people about God, and that they are sinners.  Their knowledge, it is true, may be dim, but still they have some little idea of what you are speaking about. The case is quite different when you bring science before a heathen mind. You may tell the heathen the secrets of chemistry and philosophy, or demonstrate some proposition in geometry, but they will not understand you. You must first put into him that which will enable him to understand. But God has so made man after his own image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, that a discourse about God is in some degree intelligible to him, even in his most degraded state.(43)

Another missionary pointed out that secular education, per se, did not bring men nearer to Christ, and that men simply taught western science were harder to be reached by the Gospel than the heathen.(44)  Others were in agreement with this line of reasoning.(45)

The most explicit objection to the teaching of western learning to the Chinese in mission schools was presented by Rev. Griffith John to the first general conference of missionaries held in China in 1877.  During the discussion period following the presentation of a paper by Dr. W. A. P. Martin, President of the T’ung Wen-kuan at Peking, Rev. John took issue with the speaker in the following words:

We have been sent to China by the Churches and by Christ Himself not to promote secular learning, but to make known the truth as it is in Jesus.  We have come here to deal with human souls and to save men from sin.  This is our special work; and the question is: How is this work to be accomplished?  Is it to be by teaching the sciences, or by preaching the Gospel?  I want to know what life-giving word does Astronomy or Geology possess for men dead in trespasses and sins.  If our aim in China is the promotion of intellectual culture, then let us all go in for secular learning with might and main.  If, however, our aim is the salvation of souls let us preach Christ….They need to know about God, sin, and a Savior, far more than about the formation of rocks or the names of the stars. This information others might give them, but there are too few already devoted to the propagation of the Gospel for the energies of any one to be diverted to other work, unless he has a very special calling thereto… I am also against the idea that a knowledge of these things is necessary to prepare the minds of the Chinese to receive the Gospel, and that in order to Christianize China it is necessary to call in the Arts and Sciences, Western Literature and Western civilization to our aid.  I believe that the Gospel itself and alone is the power of God unto salvation and that it has only to be faithfully preached and exemplified in order to conquer the world… We have been reminded of the importance of influencing and elevating the nation as a nation, and there is something grand and stimulating in the thought.  But we should never forget that Christ’s plan was to deal with individual souls…(46)

We have here a statement of dogma by a fundamentalist whose Christ is a “Christ-against-Culture.”  The religion of Rev. John is concerned with the hereafter entirely, and is not at all concerned with the temporal world.  This is the religion of the majority of the members of the China Inland Mission and of many of the sects that had representatives in China who engaged only in the preaching of the word of God and ignored all other possible avenues of “Christian” action.

B.Affirmative Arguments.

While Rev. Griffith John was a very prominent figure on the mission scene, his voice was but one raised in the argument for and against the introduction of western learning in the mission schools.  Others spoke just as vehemently for it as Rev. John spoke against it.

In the debate for the introduction of western learning there were those who felt that it could be introduced merely as a type of intellectual discipline.  They felt that most of the students would never have an opportunity to put into use their knowledge of botany, chemistry, etc., but felt that such knowledge had its purpose in broadening the mind, enlarging the general intelligence and affording a wide field of illustration, both in writing and speaking.(47)

A sort of negative argument for the introduction of western learning was the one that sought to have it in the curriculum merely because it was inevitable that such learning would come to China and that it would be far better for it to come in under Church aegis than under a religious or atheistic aegis. Rather than have the scholars become atheists by learning their science from the wrong source, the missionary schools would add the subject to their curriculum list.  In that way they could protect their interests and take the wind from the materialists’ and atheists’ arguments. (48)

As an evangelical tool the western subjects (all the biological and physical sciences, history, geography, languages, political science, etc.) were felt to be very useful.

Innumerable ways of using them for furthering the cause of Christ were given.

The natural sciences should be made a prominent branch of instruction. The power of education to counteract superstition lies chiefly in the natural sciences. They develop and explain the laws of nature and by so doing destroy the chief foundation of superstition.  Such studies will … give to its graduates character and influence…(49)

This statement by Dr. Mateer is but one of many of the same type. The use of science here is an indirect evangelical tool, in that it is not used to directly further the cause of Christianity, but rather to break down those religions and beliefs that are founded upon unscientific beliefs.  In this manner the beliefs in feng-shuei and other Taoist and Buddhist beliefs could be refuted and their hold on the populace diminished.

Two of the most prominent educational missionaries in China during the nineteenth century present arguments for the use of science as an evangelical tool. Dr. W. A. P. Martin and Rev. C. W. Mateer both saw a parallel in the use of science by the missionary and the use of miracles by the apostles of Christ.

In the days of St. Paul the followers of Christ “were less cultivated than those to whom they were sent, and had but one book to give to mankind.  Now it is they who stand upon the higher plain and have possession of the keys of knowledge. They are no longer armed with the power of miracles; but are they not clothed with other powers attesting and enforcing their principal message?”(50)   Speaking at the same conference, Rev. C. W. Mateer said:

He did give them (the apostles) however, the power to work miracles, and this power they used freely—not because healing a man’s lameness or opening his eyes would save his soul, but because it would attest

their divine commission, and give them authority and influence and so indirectly conduce to the salvation of souls.  God has not given to his Church in this day the power to work miracles, by which to attest their message and influence the heathen to believe it, but He has by the direct inspiration of His Spirit, as we believe given them a true science, which He intends them to use in the same way, as an agency to gain the ears of the people, and prepare a way for the belief of the Gospel.(51)

There is a difference here between this concept of the use of science as a missionary tool, and the use of it as applied by Mateo Ricci in the seventeenth century. Ricci used the knowledge of science that he possessed merely as a weapon to break down Chinese pride, which held that they had all truth worth knowing. When he could show that he, also, was the bearer of truth in the form of science, he then could lead off with truths of Christianity that were not so easily proved.(52)  But Ricci never claimed a religious sanction for his science.

In one document the stated purpose of the Chuchow Christian School read:

The class of young men in western branches is tentative and will be conducted as long as it aids us to come in touch with local educators and bring Christianity into favorable notice with them.  The work in the past has gained us friendship of some of the best leaders in the district and we believe it will not only gain for us an influence with them educationally but also gain their approval for the propagation of Christianity.(53)

At times the missionary, traveling in the interior would stop for the night in an inn and would be approached by some of the gentry of the town. “What is their object? To ask about religion?”  “Not at all, but to ask about the science and civilization of the West.”…”Shall I bluff off the questions of such men and begin at once to preach sin and repentance to them?  If I do they will very soon leave, filled with contempt for me and my preaching.  Shall I not rather turn aside for a time, and by talking to them of science, gain their good will and so put myself in an advantageous position for teaching them the Gospel?”(54)

As Mateer and Martin felt that the use of science by the missionaries was divinely ordained, as was the use of miracles by the apostles, so did many other missionaries feel that there was a further relationship between Christianity and science that lent favor to their argument for the introduction of it in the schools opened by them in China.  By many of the missionaries it was felt that science was a gift of God to the Christian nations; that it was therefore their private weapon to use as  they wished. Typical statements in this vein are:

The command in Genesis to “subdue the earth” has found at least its approximate fulfillment in the scientific development of the nineteenth century. We do not for a moment hold the position that science is essential as preparation for Christianity, but knowing it is the outcome and development of Christian civilization, and is inseparable from it, we believe that the knowledge of science which must come and will come into China, should so far as possible come through Christian channels.(55)

As we think of the almost omnipotence of man as he brings into subjection steam and electricity and the more startling wonders of our age, we would emphasize the fact that God has first entrusted these things to Christian nations…(56)

These true sciences of mind and matter, which are in fact but an exposition of the unwritten laws of God, Christianity had a prime agency in discovering.  She justly claims them as her own, and finds in them an instrumentality which she is neither afraid nor ashamed to use in the cause of truth.(57)

It was felt by many of the missionaries that there was no disagreement between Christianity and science.  Many times they reassured themselves in their conventions and literature that “Christianity is truth, and all truth is related.”(58)  That they believed this is evident by the amount of science that was taught in the mission schools and the number of scientific textbooks published by the mission presses.



In a recent work on the sociology of religion(59) the author, after making reference to numerous studies, ventures that heresy and scholarship, and most especially scientific scholarship, appear to be close relatives, if not blood brothers.  And yet we show herein that the missionary in nineteenth century China was the leading agent for the introduction into China of western scholarship, and most especially, scientific scholarship.

To understand some of the arguments offered by the various missionaries in China to support their actions, we must look to Europe and America for the relationship of science to religion in the nineteenth century.

The key word of Nature, Paul Hazard tells us, came into prominence during the eighteenth century.  To Nature was ascribed a virtue more potent than any other force since nature was the source of Knowledge and the touchstone of Reason. Nature was wise, and Nature was kindly.  Let man but lend a willing ear to Nature, and never more would he go astray.   All he had to do was to obey her kindly mandate.”(60)   From this reverence of Nature came  a concept of the laws of nature, and with a belief in natural law came a belief in a God.(61)   Some apologists    pointed out that a law implies a legislator.(62)   This deistical  type  of  reasoning is such as is found in the writings of Voltaire: 

Last night I was meditating, absorbed in the contemplation of Nature.  I was filled with wonder at its immensity, at the stars in their courses, at the mutual interaction of those countless orbs, one upon another, which people look upon unmoved.  And I marveled still more at the Mind which governs the whole mighty scheme.  A man must be blind, I said to myself, not to be dazzled by such a spectacle, a fool not to acknowledge its Author, a madman not to adore Him.(63)

Scholarship of the eighteenth century seems not to have been as antagonistic to Christianity as in the twentieth century, for Hazard states that the scientists and scholars were, if not religious in an orthodox sense, at least deistic rather than atheistic.(64)  This tendency to find God in Nature was tremendously reinforced by Carlyle in the nineteenth century.(65)  Contemporaries of Carlyle in America were also making themselves heard on the question of the relationship of science to religion.  One of the most prominent of these was John William Draper.  His views have been described as resembling those “of an eighteenth century Deist who sensed divinity in the general order of the universe.”(66)   Draper “believed in the existence and immortality of the soul and was sure that science would inevitably conduct us to the truth about them.  This truth would vindicate the methods of sciences and show       that what was vital in our religious tradition was more nearly akin to the active and practical civilization of the west than to the other worldliness and resignation of the East.(67)  It was science, Draper maintained, that had made the European the moral superior of the Asiatic.  Through his power of analysis he was capable of progress, and had the ability to apply his knowledge to practical needs.  Draper saw the need for universal education which would add to the capacity of man to reason and discover the laws of God, and thereby discover God.

Another American as prominent as Draper in this area of scholarship was John Fiske.  Fiske held that science and religion strove for the same ends.  If each is followed to its inevitable conclusion “it will appear that both are united in an enduring alliance to do battle for the same eternal cause– the cause of truth, of goodness, and of beauty; the glory of God, and the relief of man’s estate.(68)   It was not until the turn of the century that the reaction against this type of reasoning, of accommodating religious phenomena to the process of natural science, set in; and its leading critic was William James.

Meanwhile, though, in Japan, where thousands of young men were reading Draper’s History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science, the venerable missionary Verbeek spoke to the Japanese on “Christianity and Science.”  “The two treat of entirely different departments of human knowledge,” he said, “and are necessary adjuncts to each other.”(69)

In China the missionaries were using arguments from everybody’s book to support their introduction of it into their classrooms.  Listen to what they have to say:

Religion without science is writing a history without facts; science without religion is a biography without a subject;” and  “Religion without science is a pyramid without a base; science without religion is a pyramid without an apex.(70)

Christian education…consists in the devout study of the thoughts of God, noting their wisdom and beneficence, as revealed in nature, is providence, in the inspired word, in human history, and in all the relationships and conditions of men.  Christian education is not seeking after knowledge for the mere pleasure of knowing, but the discovery of every new truth is rejoiced in as an added acquisition in the knowledge of God.(71)

Nature is the first great book of revelation, and every branch of physical science, when properly unfolded, becomes a beautiful and impressive chapter in natural theology.(72)

The true end of science is to discover and interpret the thoughts of God in nature, and the end of philosophy is to search out the ultimate purpose of God in the on-going of nature and the evolution of providence… (73)

It should be our object so to teach that science may declare the glory of God and show His handiwork. (74)

Science has been nurtured in the bosom of Christianity and cannot be separated from her.(75)

When we consider that the Chinese are grossly materialistic in their views, it is important that our books should convey them through the fields of nature in such method as to show how God is revealed in His works … (76)

And lastly we call on the scholarly W. A. P. Martin, President of the T’ung Wen-kuan in Peking:

It was observed by one of the Jesuit fathers a long time ago, that the Chinese were so advanced in culture that there was nothing in which Europeans could claim preeminence, save the discoveries of science and the verities of the Christian faith.

The advantages derived from these two sources have been rendered all the more conspicuous by the marvelous progress of the last three centuries; — and where, I ask, is the necessity of renouncing those of the one class in order to communicate the other?  Who can doubt that the melancholy fact that the Nestorian missions appear to have sunk like a stone in the mighty waters without leaving so much as a ripple on the surface, was mainly owing to the circumstance that their civilization was of a lower type then that of China?  On the other hand, is it not equally evident that it is to the learned labours of her early missionaries, more than to anything else that the Catholic Church owes her strong foothold in this empire?  The lesson is obvious. In the work of converting the nations, religion and science are, or ought to be, a wedded pair, each lending its aid to the other, and what God hath joined together let man not put asunder.(77)



In the arguments presented for and against the use of or instruction in foreign languages, one finds the same range of opinions that one finds in the many other similar arguments between the fundamentalists and the liberals.

The teaching of English was introduced as a method of drawing students to the missionary school who had aspirations for using the language in trade.  It also was used as a medium of instruction for those subjects for which there was an insufficient vocabulary in the Chinese language.

As soon as missionary schools became more popular, and a “drawing” item such as instruction in English was no longer needed to obtain students, the more fundamentalist members of the mission body called for the abandonment of the teaching of English in the schools.  “It is not our place as missionaries to take superintendence of commercial schools or identify ourselves with a course of work that is prompted and sustained by purely mercenary considerations.”(78)   Since many

of the pupils in such schools dropped out as soon as they were able to got a job, they often were not in attendance long enough to obtain all the religious indoctrination the school masters deemed as a minimum for the proper religious instruction of the youth.(79)

Even instruction in some theological seminaries was given in English, forcing the student to learn a foreign language proficiently before becoming qualified for ordination.  This delayed the process for years and tended to denationalize the student.  John Fryer, even though headmaster of an Anglo-Chinese college where he was teaching English, wrote to a friend regarding St. Paul’s College in Hong Kong in 1867, advising that all instructions be in the Chinese language and that English be banished from the school.(80)

The other major objection to the use of English in the missionary schools was that students learning the sciences in that language still had to translate them into their own language. “Science, as well as the Gospel, must be put into the Chinese language in order to extend its dissemination through out the country.”81  Holding the view that the English language was not necessary for instruction were Drs. Martin, Mateer, Dudgeon, Edkins, and others.(82)

But for every individual who voted against the use of a foreign tongue in teaching the Chinese students, there seem to be a dozen calling for the use of  French, English or German in the classroom.  Especially in the early days this was true.  The foreign missionary looked askance at the unwieldy Chinese language and proceeded to teach his pupils English so as to enable the missionary to reach them with his higher message.  The Bishop of Victoria, quoted in 1854, stated:  “Their language is unwieldy, and ill adopted for conveying and expressing spiritual ideas.  It is difficult to hope that any nation with such a language as the Chinese can become even intellectually great.   We hope much from the teaching of English to the better and more promising class of Chinese youths.”(83)

The daily routine of one Anglo-Chinese school under Church Mission Society aegis in 1865 is given as follows:  English lessons from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.; first hour is a vigorous exam, written and oral, of the previous lessons done at home;  second hour — twenty new words are learned and each word is explained; third hour — spent on writing on paper;  fourth hour–elementary arithmetic and explanation of lessons for the following day.(84)

John Fryer gives us further information about the conduct of the English classes.  In a letter of May 7, 1866 he explained, “English lessons commence at nine in the morning.  There are three classes.  Each class is subdivided according to dialect spoken.  Some boys are Cantonese, some from Ningpo, some from Soo Chow, some few are natives of Shanghai, and one boy comes from Amoy.  It is a perfect Babel … one boy cones from the middle of Anhwei province and cannot understand a word that anyone says to him.  So I have to teach him by writing Chinese characters to explain things to him.”(85)

John Fryer, who in his personal correspondence, confessed that he hated this job of teaching and yet, later became the first Agazzis Professor of Oriental Language and Literature at the University of California in Berkeley, taught English to Chinese  students as a means  of reaching them with the Gospel.  His students were of rich families, as they had to pay the equivalent of 16 [pounds] per annum for their instruction. “Some lads are the sons of Chinamen worth from ten to twenty thousand pounds,” he wrote.(86)  Later on he  was an advocate of  instruction in the Chinese language only; but in the 1860’s he acknowledged the need to teach English in the mission schools.

Prior to 1890 there is not too much dissent on this point of teaching English in the schools, especially in the port cities.  It was held to be a valid means for getting pupils in the schools.  But once the mission schools gained wide recognition and could obtain pupils whether or not English was part of the curriculum the argumentation began.

The fundamentalists reiterated their old question and inevitable answer. “For what have we come to China? — to preach the Gospel.”  The liberal Protestant saw in the use of the English language and the teaching of it in the classroom the chance to enable the Chinese student to have access to vast amounts of collateral literature in the sciences and humanities.  He also was enabled to “keep up with the times in any department of modern thought.”(87)

Dr. Faber, a German missionary most interested in education, commented at the 1893 meeting of the Educational Association of China that “The Chinese language, although now in process of development, will need a few hundred years before it is capable of expressing accurately scientific ideas… What has never been in idea cannot be in the language.  Hence we must wait for the development of the language…”(88)   John Fryer argued against this stating that the Chinese language was growing and was capable of expressing any ideas.  He suggested the teaching of Mandarin colloquial in the schools rather than English.

So we see that on the liberal Protestant side of the argument we have dissension; not dissension based on a theological concept but on a philological one. The place of instruction of English was forever to plague the missionaries.  In the 1909 questionnaire quoted earlier fifty-nine schools gave instruction in English while fifty-one did not, with three schools not indicating one way or the other.



If there were going to be schools conducted by missionaries in China, there had to be textbooks written for them.  Each early missionary educator either wrote his own work or merely used some religious tract or pamphlet and taught from that.  By mid-century the missionary was translating western works into the Chinese language to use as text books. In the preface to his Philosophical Almanac (1851) Dr. D. J. Macgowan stated that the need of the day was a book “such as will teach the physical sciences in their connection with Natural Theology, care being taken that whilst the irrefragable arguments they afforded of the existence and attributes of God, and the reasonableness of the Christian revelation are made clear, they should not be so burdened by the theological arguments as to hinder their employment as text books on the subjects which they treat.”(89)

This essentially was the principle upon which the missionaries were exhorted to write.  Often, at conferences of missionaries, one or more ministers would rise and call attention to the f act that less and less of God was being presented in the text books; that as Christians they could not neglect their duty to witness for Christ at all opportunities.

In 1867 Andrew Wylie, in a work entitled Memorials of Protestant Missionaries to the Chinese listed all the works translated into Chinese to date by     missionaries. He lists a total of 779 different titles in print.  The number of entries listed by category is as follows.(90)


Translations of Sacred Scriptures









Sacred Biography















Educational and Linguistic
































These works were mostly in the wen-li style, but the dialects of Canton, Hakka, Chaou-Chow, Amoy, Fuh-Chow, Ning Po, Kin Hwa, Hang-Chow, Shanghai, as well as Mandarin, were used.

In 1868 the Supreme Court & Consulor Gazette carried an article on the translation of works into Chinese:

The translation of scientific works into Chinese has undoubtedly been one of the most efficient among the philanthropic schemes by which foreigners have sought to benefit the Middle Kingdom.  The translations already published have gradually increased in popularity among the literary classes for the simple reason that they supply one of the great wants of the nation…These books, (by Protestant Missionaries) however, are now fast spreading over the empire, and the translators have their reward in seeing them well-known and appreciated by the intellectual classes.  Those of most importance have been reprinted by the Chinese government.(91)

The missionary wrote prolifically both for his Chinese audiences and for his audiences at home.  When writing in Chinese he most often was either composing or translating a religious tract or Bible portion. These were printed and distributed by the tens of millions throughout the empire.  Many missionaries, though, as we have noted above, did render into Chinese works of other than a religious character. Until 1877 this type of activity was conducted on an individual basis by each missionary, raising problems for future translators in the variety of new words made up to express ideas new to the Chinese language.

In 1877, at the first general conference of Protestant missionaries in China, committees were appointed to bring order in the areas of the translation of literature by the western missionary. The duties of the committee on literature were:

1.  Ascertain what books were currently available.

2.  Ascertain what books were in the course of preparation.

3.  Prepare a series of school and text books for use in mission schools.

4.  Make known to the whole mission body what is being done.

5.  Distribute a sample copy of each work published to all mission stations.

The sub-committee, appointed to work on the school and text book series, made the following report:

Resolved, that arrangements should be made for the preparation of two series of school books in Chinese, viz., a primary series and an advanced series, and that the style of  both series should be the simplest wen-li, leaving subsequent translation into Mandarin an open question.

Resolved, that the subjects of the works of both series should be as follows:

1. A set of Object Lessons; a simple and an advanced Catechism, first, second and third readers.

2. Arithmetic, geometry, school algebra, surveying, natural philosophy and astronomy.

3. Geology, mineralogy, chemistry, botany, zoology, anatomy, and physiology.

4. Physical geography, political and descriptive geography, and sacred geography with natural history.

5.  An epitome of ancient history; an epitome of modern history; a history of China, a history of England, and a history of the United States of America.

6.  The industries of the West.

7.  Grammar or language; logic, mental philosophy, moral science, and political economy.

8. Vocal and instrumental music and drawing.

9.  A series of school maps and a set of botanical and zoological charts for school room walls.

10. The art of teaching; and any other subjects which may hereafter be decided upon.

Resolved, that the nomenclature made use of in both series should as a matter of necessity, be uniform and in harmony with that of as many existing publication as possible. To ensure such uniformity it is advisable to prepare glossaries of technical terms and proper names from the principal existing publications on the various subjects… that the…vocabularies should be collected and united into three general vocabularies, viz., 1. Arts, sciences and manufactures. 2. Geographical. 3. Biographical.  That the preparation of the first list be assigned to Mr. Fryer, and the second to Rev. Y. J. Allen…

Mr. Fryer by letter, and also viva voce informed the committee that in consequence of the need of a series of scientific works of a far more elementary character than those already published at the Kiangnan Arsenal, the directors of that institution had offered to cut on blocks and print at cost price the whole series, excepting such as might be open to any grave objections from an official point of view.(92)

We can note in the above report a number of salient facts. The major factor is the small number of religious texts considered by the committee. It is significant that this group of missionaries were so inclined as to desire to produce Chinese texts on such subjects as music, physiology, astronomy, botany, geography, histories of the west, the industries of the west, drawing, etc.  In most of these fields nothing was available in the Chinese language.

We also note the concern of the committee for terminology. This problem was to plague the missionary for decades, even after the Revolution.  Since the missionary was the primary agent in the translation of western works into Chinese he desired to establish a control on the proliferation of new words chosen to convey similar concepts.

A further point we might notice in the report of the committee is the prominent part played by John Fryer.  Some background information on Fryer may not be out of place here.

John Fryer arrived in China in 1861 under the aegis of the Church Missionary Society of London.  For two years he was headmaster of St. Paul’s College in Hong Kong.  He then went to Peking to replace Rev. Bourdon (later Bishop) as instructor in English at the T’oung Wen Kuan.  After a stay of several years he went to Shanghai where he ran the Anglo-Chinese College, again for the Church Missionary Society.  While working in the Anglo-Chinese School Fryer was also editor of the Shanghai Gazette, a Chinese newspaper.  Becoming disgusted with his job at the Anglo-Chinese College, he sought other employment. He first offered his services as a missionary to the American Protestant Episcopal Church.  His offer was refused.

Shortly thereafter he accepted employment with the Chinese government as director of the Translation Bureau of the Kiang-nan Arsenal.  There he translated scientific works into Chinese. Within a year the activities of the Translation Bureau were increased and Fryer was called upon to obtain more help in the department.  On May 4, 1869 he wrote to a Mr. Wherry, asking him if he would be interested in the work.  As inducement to take the job, Fryer pointed out that the position would make him independent of his board and his leisure time would be his own. “Unless I am mistaken,” he goes on, “you would feel no small amount of pleasure in being engaged in this work and looking at it in a philanthropical point of view, it seems to me to be second to none of the various means that are now employed by Missionary Societies—especially as it gives access to the class of Chinese who form the most important part of the Nation and who can be reached in no other way.”(93)

These are not hollow comments used to lure a missionary into secular work. Rather, they are the expression of the ideas of a larger concept of missionary work now developing in the mind of John Fryer.  He wrote to a classmate, “The Translation Department…bids fair to become a powerful means for helping forward this venerable old nation, and bringing it somewhat into the track of the “March of Civilization” which we foreigners generally like to boast about.”(94)  Later he wrote:

The work of translating and compiling scientific books in Chinese is for the time being perhaps as dull and unthankful a task as any foreigner could engage in …. Nothing but a strong sense of duty, and a firm belief that

this kind of labor is one of the most effective means under the Divine guidance for bringing about the intellectual and moral regeneration of this great country, has sufficed to render endurable to the translators the long weary years of close and continuous application which it has involved.(95)

From 1877 to 1890 John Fryer served as General Editor of the School and Textbook Series Committee. In this capacity he was active in the development of textbooks in Chinese.  For the use of the committee he wrote or translated sixty-four works suitable for classroom use. Of the work of John Fryer, Alice Gregg, in her book China and Educational Autonomy, says “Under the general conditions of travel and communication and with no common mission headquarters, it is difficult to conceive the work of the School and Textbook Committee apart from the services of Mr. Fryer.”(96)

In 1890, at the second general conference of Protestant Missionaries in China, the School and Text Book Series Committee was dissolved and its assets turned over to the newly established Educational Association of China.  John Fryer was again the General Editor and an active participant in the educational activities of the group.

In 1880 Fryer published a small pamphlet telling about the founding of the Translation Bureau at the Kiangnan Arsenal.  In it he includes a list of “Recent Scientific and other works Published by Foreigners in Various Parts of China.” These forty works were virtually all published by missionaries. A comment regarding secular works of the missionary was given by Rev. S. L. Baldwin at the Missionary conference in Shanghai in 1877:

..from history and geography down through the arts and sciences to Chemistry and medicine, it deserves prominent remark that many of them have a large Christian element and outlook….all these works are composed in the interests of true civilization and social progress.  Even works on “Gunnery” are no exception, for good guns are true civilizers when aimed at the towers of despotism in a righteous cause.(97)

To insure greater circulation of these works, reading rooms were opened by Churches, such as the one In Soochow where “a number of easy literary and scientific books (were) nailed to reading desks or shelves around the room…”(98)

These secular works of the missionary were in great demand even long before the reform movement of 1898.  In 1877 Rev. W. S. Holt commented:

Orders are constantly sent to our Mission Press, both by missionaries and Chinese gentlemen, for scientific works, and others of an educational character.  The edition of  Dr. Martin’s International Law is about exhausted. Geographies, chemistry, natural philosophy and astronomy, ancient history, books on western schools and education, works on western medical science, are constantly called for.  Our sales of such books are about $500 per annum, which fact gives some idea of the demand among the Chinese for them. (99)

By 1881 the School and Textbook Series Committee had a list of some 63 offerings.(100)  In 1884 John Fryer established his “Chinese Scientific Book Depot” in Shanghai.  In the first year of operation he sold between four and five thousand dollars worth of books;(101) and within thirteen years sold “over 150,000 Mexican dollars’ worth of Chinese literature, mostly educational.”(102)

The Educational Association of China found that their works were selling well.  In 1895, for instance, they sold over 2,095 dollars worth of books. These books were mostly of general and scientific subjects, only eight of the sixty-nine works in their catalog being of a religious nature.

Another organization established in Shanghai, and mainly supported by missionaries, The Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge Among the Chinese, also sold and distributed books of an educational nature.  Their book sales, since the founding of the organization in 1888 to 1905, were as follows:(103)




$    12,146.91




$    18,457.36




$     9,113.25


$     561.72


$    12,402.27


$  1,972.32


$    15,614.93


$     817.97


$    33,239.00


$  2,184.00


$    54,399.63


$  2,119.22


$    30,457.51


$  5,899.92


$    24,928.81

From a list of  “Works in Preparation” for 1903 we can see the type of book that the SDCGK was interested in: Milner’s Egypt, Life of Akbar, 20th C. Physics, Story of Geography, Growth of the Empire, Wallace’s Russia,  Latest Russian History,  Man and His Markets,  Commercial Geography of Foreign Nations, Economics of Commerce, etc.(104)

The Educational Association of China and the SDCGK found that their books were being reprinted by the Chinese. “It is highly complimentary,” ran an article in The Chinese Recorder in August 1897,

to the character of the text-books prepared by the EAC that they are now being vigorously pirated by Chinese publishers….It is doubtful if his (the Taotai’s) aid would be given to the prohibition of the reprint of books, and it is even questionable whether such aid should be invoked.  Our Association is not organized for trade purposes, but for the wide dissemination of knowledge. The more our books are read and the more widely they are scattered throughout the whole of this empire the more nearly are we approaching the ideal purpose of our organization….Ignorantly and perhaps even maliciously they are doing the work of the new education in China a real service.(105)

These books, though, were doing what the various authors or translators had hoped. They were reaching the Chinese who could not be reached through normal avenues of intercourse by the missionary.  The first steamship built in China was built by a Chinese whose only knowledge of steam navigation was a copy of Dr. Hobson’s Natural Philosophy, published in 1855.

In 1893 a missionary stated, “We sometimes have men call upon us who are very well versed in science and mathematics, who have obtained their knowledge through the medium of books alone.(106)



The missionaries in China established many types of schools; day schools, boarding schools, colleges, industrial schools, and even night schools.

The day school was a school to which the students went during the day, returning home each evening. The earliest known day school was opened by the Church Mission Society in Shanghai in 1849.  Dr. Harper opened a successful day school in Canton in 1850.(107)  In 1877 the estimated cost per scholar for running a day school for a year was three dollars and fifty cents.(108)

As explained above (see section on arguments for and against schools), there was much debate as to the value of day schools.  Rev. R. H. Graves of the Baptist Mission, for instance, was not much impressed with them, and favored spending the efforts of the mission in the “public preaching of the word.”(109)  Others felt that if day schools were established they should only be for children of converts.(110)

A great and continuing debate raged regarding whether or not heathen instructors should be employed.  Rev. D. N. Lyon suggested in 1897 that “with the present standard of piety among Chinese Christians it is not always easy to draw the

line between an indifferent Christian and a moral heathen.”(111)

While some missionaries felt that the opening of such schools was a waste of missionary money and efforts, others continued to develop the day school program. Rev. G. S. Miner developed a school system of some one hundred and thirty-nine day schools in the Foochow area.  They enrolled over three thousand boys, and about three hundred girls.  Rev. Miner believed that “hundreds have been brought into the fold through the instrumentality of the schools.(112)

Boarding schools were the most numerous after day schools.  Robert Morrison, who was the first Protestant missionary to China, opened the first boarding school in Macao.  As the missionaries were restricted to Macao until 1842, and then to the treaty parts until 1860, boarding schools did not develop rapidly.  By 1877 there were some sixty-eight boarding schools in China conducted by missionaries.  Rev. Dodd estimated in 1877 that the cost to run a boarding school was about one thousand dollars per year.(113)  This included food and clothing for the students, and salaries for the instructors.  When the schools first opened it was necessary to have the students indentured for the school term, or the drop-out rate would wreck the program.  At times it was even necessary to pay the students to attend.(114)

With a need for ministers, theological schools were developed, which were the forerunners of the many colleges and universities established by the missionary in China.  There were, of course, those missionaries who said, “We do not aim at higher education for the Chinese.. our sole object is to make our students acquainted with the Word of God, that they may become Fishers of Men.”(115)   The other extreme can be found in a comment by Rev. B. Helm at the 1877 Missionary Conference.   “… I should like to see colleges established not Presbyterian, not Wesleyan, not Baptist, nor of any particular denomination, but Christian colleges, where Christian students from higher mission schools could receive a thorough vernacular education in all the higher branches, native and foreign.”(116)

By the time of the Boxer rebellion, there were seven colleges and universities established in China.  Rev. Helm’s desire came true at this time for “an action second to none was determined upon after the Boxer outbreak, whereby the collegiate, medical and theological colleges in Peking and Tung Chou, conducted by the Congregational, London, Methodist, and Presbyterian missionaries, were subject to approval at home, united in one Peking University under Christian control.”(117)

In their concern for the welfare of the individuals and the nation of China, the liberal Protestant also became involved in industrial schools.  One report of a Committee on Industrial Education stated, “Christianity comes to the heathen world with a two-fold duty–to root out, and pull down; and to destroy and to throw down; to build and to plant.  Now the Middle Kingdom is practically a nation without a middle class.  The men of culture and the working classes form the two broadly defined strata of society…(118)  “We propose to add to the curriculum certain lines of work which seem to us valuable– educationally and practically.”(119)

We do not hear too much about night school, but we do know that John Fryer wrote in 1866 to his cousin, that be was conducting an “evening school mostly consisting of adults.  They are very painstaking, but they cannot get on so fast as the

younger day scholars.”(120)     We find Fryer again teaching evening classes in mathematics in the 1890’s, but under other than missionary aegis.

The growth in the mission schools can be seen from the following statistics:



Type of School       American     British    Continental     Totals

Boys’ Boarding             19                8                   3                  30

Girls’ Boarding             24              12                   2                  38

Boys’ Day                     93              70                 14                177

Girls’ Day                    57              24                    1                  82

Theological                    9                9                    2                  20

                                   202            123                  22                347


Boys’ Boarding           347           118                146                611

Girls Boarding           464           189                124                777

Boys’ Day                1,255         1,471                265             2,991

Girls’ Day                   957            335                   15            1,307

Theological                  94            115                   22                231

                                3,117         2,228                 572             5,917



(All Societies)

Primary (Day) Schools                        972

Boarding Schools                                114

Colleges and Training    Schools          46




                      No. of Day       No. of            No. of Schools           No. of

                        Schools         Scholars        other than Day         Students

British &

Colonial             1,042            19,538                     163                   4,353

American              966            19,884                     187                   8,130

In the above statistics it is noticeable that the Americans generally played a larger part in education than the British societies.  This was also observed by John Fryer in 1894 in the preface to the catalog of their books put out by the E.A.C.:

One thing is very noticeable in this Catalogue.  Whereas a portion of the first works of the School and Text-Books Series are translations or adaptations of English originals the recent publications of this Association are mostly based upon American authorities. This is the natural result of the very prominent position the American Missionary Societies are now giving to their educational work,….(126)

In a letter to the editor of the Chinese Recorder, dated April 1899, a writer signing himself as “Observer,” notes the discrepancy in the parts played by the British and American Societies in educational work in China:

…The British Missions, with few exceptions, have devoted their main strength in education to the non-influential, giving only primary education and refusing to teach English, while some of the American Societies in education are devoting themselves to the influential classes giving them superior education; and Methodists are teaching them English.  The result is that in the educational reformation going on in

China now the Methodist and Presbyterian Missionaries of America are sought after to superintend the new education of China, and therefore have the chief control of the rising youth of China.  It is to be hoped that this will open the eyes of those Societies who have hitherto refused to grant liberty to their missionaries to open schools worthy of Christendom and worthy of the high civilization of China, and who have neglected to follow those lines which God has shown to be most effectual in all ages.  As British Societies have generally opposed these methods they must not complain now if they are reaping only what they have sown.  The old fashioned charity schools and ragged schools supported by Missionary Societies in China are fast passing away.  The Chinese do not want them and will not support them…(127)

The writer then offers the following breakdown of missionaries who were to take part in the Third Triennial Meeting of the Educational Association of China the following month:

Belonging to

Belonging to


American Societies

British Societies

Methodist & Wesleyan















Employed by Chinese

Govt. in Ed.& Literary work



American Total       32

British Total    8

This preponderance of American effort in China was not world wide, for we find statistics showing that in 1900 a total of 5,901 foreign missionaries were sent out from the British Isles, while in the same year 4,110 were from the United States.(128)

The cost of foreign missions shows their growth in the century under discussion.  In 1811 the total United States contribution to mission societies was $1,667.  In 1868 it was $1,600,000 (129) and in 1900 it was $5,403,048. (130)



Matteo Ricci and the Jesuits who entered China in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries wore the garments of the Chinese people and not the robes of their priestly order.  Not to have done so would have led them to be associated with the hated Portugese, and would have dared to suggest that other nations existed as equals to China.  It also would have made them items of curiosity for they would not have fit into the social system then obtaining in China. “Not only they, but their religion would remain exotic–a local cult transplanted– which could never thrive.”(131)  With the wearing of the robes of scholars the Jesuits were accepted, and rose to power and influence in China.

When Robert Morrison arrived in Canton over a century after Ricci he, too, adopted the costume of the Chinese.  He wore a queue, and allowed his fingernails to grow. “But he found out in time that dining with the natives did not greatly increase his knowledge of the language; and that a long tail, and long nails, with the Chinese frock and clumsy shoes, lent no talismanic aid in deciphering a strange character. All were consequently laid aside.”(132)

If Robert Morrison laid aside his Chinese dress other later missionaries did not.  The Catholic missionaries retained the Chinese garments, following the custom of the early Jesuits.(133)  We also read reports of many later Protestant missionaries retaining use of Chinese garments.

The members of the China Inland Mission adopted the Chinese costume.(134)  At the various missionary conferences the Shanghai newspaper would observe the number of Caucasians dressed in Chinese costume, and pointed out that they were missionaries in for the conference.  At the 1890 Conference, Rev. Y. K. Yen told the assembled missionaries that the wearing of the Chinese dress was dependent upon the location.  In places where foreigners are well known they should wear their own dress; in others, the Chinese dress.(135)

Msgr. Michael Navarro, Vicar Apostolic of Hunan, reported that in April of 1865 three American Protestant missionaries arrived in Hangchow.  It was at the time of the general civil service exams and ten thousand students were in the city.

The Americans were not clothed in Chinese dress–something unheard of in the area. Riots ensued and the French legation was called upon to restore the peace.(136)

Timothy Richard, who spent forty-five years in China as a missionary, adopted the Chinese costume.  Early in his career he shaved his head and put on an artificial queue.  Everyone in the town came out to see him.  “Ah!  He looks like a man, now,” was one comment overheard.(137)  Subsequent to his adoption of the Chinese dress he received invitations to homes formerly closed to him.

Even with the use of Chinese dress acknowledged as being useful in many ways, the whole mission body was not unanimous in their support of the policy.  One Church lay leader wrote in 1889:

I read that in China some Protestant missionaries, following the example of the Roman Catholics, adopt the native garb, and maintain that the influence of so doing was beneficial.  I cannot believe it.  No Protestant missionary in India has ever done so.  It is not suggested that a missionary in Africa, and his wife, should dispense with garments altogether, according to the custom of the country; or in cold Northern climates adopt the costume of the Eskimo.(138)

At different times, and in different ways, Protestant missionaries were willing to change aspects of their religion to make it more readily acceptable to the Chinese. Bishop Burdon, of the Church Mission Society, suggested the substitution of rice and tea for bread and wine in the Holy Communion.(139)  Later, at the turn of the century, W. A. P. Martin suggested that the worship of Confucius required by the government in all schools, was “not incompatible with the requirements of Christianity.”(140)

While we can acknowledge that some missionaries were willing to change and adapt their religion to China, we note that more often the case was the opposite. The missionary wanted to change Chinese customs to agree with his religion. In the North China Herald of January 11, 1892, a writer for the paper asks, “Would it not be more fair for all missionaries to avow what they inwardly believe, namely, that Christianity is essentially antagonistic to paganism, and aggressively disposed towards it?. . ..Let him appeal for support on the grounds that he and his friends are going to attack the social order of the Chinese empire, which we all admit to be objectionable, and then see what can be done for his side.”(141)  Kenneth Scott

Lataurette also points this out in the comparison of two mission bodies in his History of the Expansion of Christianity, vol. IV, saying, “…American missionaries tended to work more for the transformation of society as a whole than did British missionaries.” (142)

John R. Mott, world YMCA organizer, observed in 1897 that through the medium of modern learning and educational methods under missionary control, Confucianism would be defeated and a “truly Christian civilization” would take its place.(143)  This character of the missionary schools–their promulgation of a foreign civilization as well as religion, was to cause the Church concern in later years. In 1922 a Committee on Christian Education in China reported, “…It must be remembered that Chinese Christians are Chinese as well as Christian, and that the very patriotism which Christianity tends to produce will draw them away from a school whose atmosphere is foreign and to one that is Chinese…”(144)  This question came up recently in a paper written by a former missionary regarding the Communist control of China, and analyzing how the Church failed.

…There is a real sense in which Chinese church leaders have in many instances been obliged, culturally speaking, to become Anglo-Saxons in order to reach positions of leadership in the church; and this is now disastrous…I am aware that the question of “western culture” is not a simple one; no one in China is now opposed to science, and science is a very “western” phenomenon.  But this does not make it desirable that many Chinese Christian leaders write English better than they write Chinese. (145)

One change the missionaries spent much effort and time on was language reform. Various types of Romanization were suggested and adopted by missionary groups, rendering into writing dialects never before found in print.  The choice of language form for their text books was of concern to them, and the style changed from classical, to easy wen-li, to Mandarin. This concern in language reform was of much interest to the fundamentalist who sought to have the word of God available

to all people, and in all tongues.  But it was the liberal Protestant missionary who was concerned over the needs of the language to convey ideas of chemistry, physics, and the many other areas of knowledge being introduced by them into China.(146)

A most remarkable document, which shows clearly that the missionary  was well aware of the social change he was introducing, is a statement submitted by twenty-two missionaries to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.  These missionaries, mostly stationed in southern China saw, in the mistreatment of Chinese in the United States, an injustice as well as a danger for themselves.  They drew up a document petitioning their Home Board to take up the Chinese laborer’s cause in the United States.  In defending the Chinese in the United States, they clarified for their Board their own position in China.  The statement reads in part:

…The majority of Americans in China are sent there, by organized societies, for the express purpose of propagating a religion foreign to the country, and intensely distasteful to the vast majority of the people, the successful dissemination of which must result in undermining and destroying the existing religions of the country.

The General Assembly has sent not less than eighty agents to China, established them in various parts of the country, supplies them with large sums of money, and requires them to carry on a ceaseless agitation the avowed purpose of which is to accomplish the object above


…The overturning of the religious institutions of China involves a revolution in the political and educational institutions and, to a considerable extent, in the industrial pursuits of the people.

It is to no purpose that the General Assembly claims that its object is to benefit the people of China morally and spiritually.  Their religious belief and practices have been handed down to them by their fathers, through many generations, and are sacred in their eyes. The social and political standing of tens of thousands of the better classes depends on the continuance of existing institutions, through which are the avenues to wealth, honor, and power.  It is, therefore, natural that they should expel missionaries, if not prevented by treaties with powerful nations.(147)

This quotation alone seems to call into question Paul Varg’s statement in Missionaries, Chinese and Diplomats… (p.95) that, “Only rarely did missionaries sense that they were witnessing the collapse of a civilization, that the impact of the West was undermining the basic Chinese Institutions: the family and clan, the guild, and the decentralized government.”(148)   Here are twenty missionaries who seem well aware of what they are doing.

Other quotations given above also show that many missionaries were aware of the social and cultural change they were trying to bring about.



The liberal Protestant missionary was not content to establish his own schools to help change China.  He also attempted to change the entire educational system of China.  Besides serving as president(149) or instructor in Chinese government schools, and serving as guest lecturer in many more strictly Chinese institutions,(150) the missionary planned for a unified school system for China based on western lines.

The first writing along this line was done by Ernst Faber, a German missionary, who entered China in 1865.  His two works in Chinese on education were Western Schools, published in 1875, and A Treatise on Education, published in 1875.  W. A. P. Martin made a three year study of foreign school systems and submitted a lengthy report to the Tsung-li Yamen.

At the first triennial meeting of the Educational Association of China the scope of the activities of the Association were stated by Rev. John G. Ferguson. “We must not confine ourselves to the simple interests of our own schools, but must assist in solving the greater problem of general education. In this way only can we hope to cause our own schools to lead in the development of a thorough educational system in China.”(151)

At the next meeting of the Educational Association of China a “Committee on Educational Reform” was established.  This committee met and chose three of its members to prepare papers for presentation to the Chinese government.  Dr. Young J. Allen was to prepare a paper setting forth in detail the educational work already done by the mission schools and colleges throughout the empire.  Rev. Gilbert Reid was to prepare a paper giving a new scheme for government examinations for the first degree.(152)

Rev. Reid reported a year later, “I was appointed to draw up one (paper for the Committee) advocating a National University.  This I did, sending it to each member of the Committee.  After revision, I presented it to the Tsung-li Yamen, with a special copy to Prince Kung.  In the last audience I had with that body a few days before leaving, an interest was expressed in having such an institution started; but from lack of funds and other reasons, it seemed impossible to do anything at the present time. (153)

The missionary confidently looked forward to what the future held. “Mission schools are preparing the way for a government school system in China, just as they did in India. That they have no such system is one of the suicidal features of Chinese administration.  There will be change bye and bye, and missionaries, more than any other class of men, will be credited with its realization.(154)

A scheme for educational reform was prepared by Rev. Timothy Richard of the SDCGE, and a copy was sent to the viceroys and governors in the empire in the spring of 1898.  The young emperor appointed a day in the autumn for the consideration of the scheme with Rev. T. Richard but that was the very day on which the Empress-Dowager resumed control of the government.(155)

While the young emperor was on the throne a missionary conference was held at Pei-ta-ho.  The following resolution was adopted by the Conference:

Resolved, that this conference of missionaries, representing seven Protestant missionary societies working in North China, wishes to bring to the very special notice of their respective Boards the urgent necessity for immediately considering the demands that are being made by the Chinese on every hand for instruction in the English language and Western learning.

More than in any previous years, individuals are pressing for such teaching.  More important, however, is the impending revolution in the governmental system of instruction which will be introduced by the  Imperial edict recently issued.  Such an opportunity of influencing and leading this people has never before been placed within the reach of English speaking missionaries. For prompt and wise measures taken now may bring such a course of education under the auspice of our Protestant Churches.  This may not be he case if the present opportunity is lost … (156)

Where we have missionaries expressing themselves against this work, the arguments are those of the fundamentalists heard earlier in the paper.  For example, at the missionary Conference held at Ku-ling in Central China in August of 1898, one speaker voiced the opinion that he “did not endorse a scheme to enter upon wholesale education to meet the requirements of China at this crisis; and still more did his nature shrink from using education as a proselytizing agency.  The great call to us as a Christian Church is to let our educational work cluster around the children of our native Christians… (157)

With the resuming of power by the Empress-Dowager, the missionaries suffered a setback but they were not deterred in their aim of establishing and, perhaps, controlling a school system for all of China.  At the third triennial of the Educational Association of China, held in Shanghai in May of 1899 Rev. A. P. Parker stated:

The first problem to which I would call attention as demanding our best thought and effort for its solution, is How to get the educational system of China changed and reorganized on a sound basis….We want to see a public school system established throughout the country, whereby the benefits of a common school education may be made accessible to all classes of the people alike– in city, town, and country.  Such a public

school system ought to be established and we as an association, ought to agitate for it.(158)

Another problem envisioned by him was:

How to secure and retain control of the educational movements that are now being inaugurated by the people and the government officials….In a large number of cases the Chinese officials and directors of these institutions are coming to the missionaries for the assistance that they find they need in the establishment and conduct of the institutions. This is a most hopeful sign of the times, and one that is full of promise for Christian education in China.

We Christian educators ought to be prepared to enter the doors open to us.  Every one of these institutions ought to have Christian professors in charge of them and all the departments in them. What a grand opportunity to exert a commanding influence over the educational destinies of the empire and, by this means, over all the affairs of the country…(159)

Rev. C. W. Mateer stated:

The demand of the hour is for teachers to supply what first class colleges and high schools are needed in every province. This demand will continue and increase beyond our power to supply it.  If we, as educators, are able to supply the best teachers in the market and who are at the same time Christian men, we will control China socially, politically, and religiously…. Christianity cannot afford to neglect the   opportunity to control this great movement which is now gathering momentum. (160)

A committee of five missionaries was appointed by the conference to study the suggestion of advising the Chinese government on educational reforms.  They reported to the Conference as follows:

The committee to whom was referred certain matters in regard to educational reforms in China, beg leave to report as follows:

We recommend, I. That this Association appoint a committee of three to cooperate with a similar committee of the Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge among the Chinese in the preparation of such a course of study, or a series of courses of study, as they may deem best adapted to the use of schools and colleges and students in general throughout the country.

2. That this joint committee be authorized to prepare an examination scheme for the country at large and make such recommendations in regard to it for the guidance of those concerned, as they may find most expedient.

3. That the subject of preparing a statement to be presented to the Chinese government in regard to a public school system for China, and in regard to such other educational reforms as the condition of the country demands, be referred to this joint committee to take such action as they deem best.

4. That such action as this joint committee may take in regard to the matters above mentioned shall be published and put into operation as soon as the committee may find it desirable to do so, and their action shall have the full sanction of this Association until the next triennial meeting of the Association, when it will be subject to the approval of the triennial meeting.

A. P. Parker
D. Z. Sheffield
F. L. Hawks Pott
Timothy Richard
Ernest F. Gedge (l6l)

Lest we give the impression that the missionaries at the 1899 meeting of the Educational Association of China were all in accord with this secular type of activity, we should hear at least one dissenter.  Dr. R. T. Bryan suggested, during one discussion, that:

There is one thing to be considered before urging the Chinese government to establish primary schools.  It may not be God’s time for China to take charge of all the little children over China and dictate their course of study and the line of religious thought they should have. I hope the time will come when China will follow the example of the

Japanese, but I do not f eel like urging it now.  Maybe God is delaying His purpose– perhaps waiting for us to prepare more Christian teachers. Let us work to bring the little children into our Christian day schools, and not urge the question of putting them under heathen influence.(162)

While the missionaries did attain many positions of importance and influence in the Chinese system of education their ultimate goal of complete control was thwarted by the rising influence of the Japanese.  Soon the missionary was outnumbered by the advisors and educators imported from near- by Japan.  As Japanese influence grew, sales of missionary books dropped, and translations from the Japanese took their place.



The Christian missionaries, in promulgating their religion, held two extreme views of their faith and its relationship to the particulars of culture, or held some synthesis of these two opposing views.  On the one extreme is the fundamentalist, who holds that his religion is the only universal of value, and disregards all the other universals and particulars of his own and other cultures.  On the opposite extreme is the liberal Protestant who believes that his revealed religion is but one universal among many and that there are other universals such as are found in the sciences.  To the liberal Protestant there was no conflict between these universals; in fact, they complimented each other.  The liberal Protestant went one step further by suggesting that the “Kingdom of God” could be established on this earth through the medium of the expansion and acceptance of all the universals.  Therefore he was just as ready to teach science as religion in his schools.

The conservative or fundamentalist religious mind sees a providential control of nature and, under the guidance of writers and thinkers such as Augustine, contemplated not the present but the hoped for blessed “City of God”.  The conservative missionary was not concerned with the here but with the hereafter.  It was his sole interest to spread the word of the Gospel.  Max Weber cites an example of this:

What…an impersonality of brotherly love, resulting from the orientation of life solely to God’s will means in the field of religious group life itself, may be well illustrated by the attitude of the China Inland Mission and the International Missionaries Alliance.  At tremendous expense, an army of missionaries was fitted out–for instance, one thousand for China alone … in order, by itinerant preaching, to offer the Gospel to all the heathen in a strictly literal sense, since Christ had commanded it and made His second coming dependent on it.  Whether these heathen should be converted to Christianity and thus attain salvation; even whether they could understand the language in which the missionary preached, was a matter of small importance and could be left to God Who alone could control such things…(163)

Fundamentalism is so other worldly that a “leading religious editor could write in 1868 that if the working classes received unfair treatment on earth, they should ‘first lay up treasures in heaven,’ where they would find their reward.”(164) Another could point out that Hannah More regarded poverty as being “ordained,” and that Wilberforce opposed reforms on the ground that the existing order “combines the greatest measure of temporal comforts and spiritual privileges,” and encouraged the poor to submission because “their situation, with all its evils, is better than they deserved at the hands of God.” (165)

The fundamentalist was constantly decrying the confusing of culture with religion:

Civilization is the incidental, not the primary object of a mission.  It is wrong to expect that civilization must precede evangelization; it may accompany it.  Christianity can adapt itself to every phase and epoch of Human Culture.  Civilization may possibly choke the good seed, and retard Gospel teaching.  The missionary should place before his eyes as the model which he aims at; not the British, or New England village, with all its surroundings of European culture; but the villages of Palestine, such as they were when our Lord passed through them.

Nothing is so bad as to turn a Negro into a Pseudo-Englishman.  What has a particular stage of Human Culture to do with the Everlasting Gospel? (166)

It is the fundamentalist who is forever stating that it is their calling to “preach the Gospel” not sciences or civilization.  In referring to the use of mission funds to educate heathen Chinese, one such fundamentalist wrote, “It is a blunder; it is a folly; it is more than a folly. It’s an abuse of unenlightened confidence on the part of people at home, and a malapplication of missionary funds … It is a shame that it is so, and it is a shame that it will continue to be so.”(167)

Referring to the fundamentalist an editorial in the Supreme Court and Consular Gazette of January 16, 1866, the writer stated that they were too intent on preaching the Gospel and too often content with being able to gather a handful of converts from among the poor and uneducated. (168)  When a more liberal Protestant sought to reach the higher classes in China the fundamentalists wrote against his actions and mistaken “calling.” (169) but were, in turn, referred to as critical cynics. (170)

In defense of the fundamentalist we find an interesting report of a Catholic missionary in China, printed in 1891:

Whence comes this obstinate determination to reject Christianity? … It is only against the Christian religion it (China) seeks to defend itself.  It sees all Europe following on the heels of the Apostles Of Christ–Europe with her ideas, her civilization; and with that it will have absolutely nothing to do. … Rightly or wrongly, China will not have European civilization which, in combination with Christianity, is to them simply an invasion of Europe (171)

In a recent seminar on “Religion and Freedom” (172) Dr. Paul Tillich of the Harvard Divinity School stated that there were four forces in religion which “always have and always will resist the development of a free society — religious conservatism, religious authoritarianism, religious intolerance, and religious transcendentalism.”  Religious transcendentalism was an evil to Dr. Tillich because it emphasized the vertical line of other-worldliness and detoured people from the horizontal line of political or social concern. As an example of this type of thinking he pointed to the Lutheran churches in Germany which were completely indifferent to Hitler’s murders and persecutions until their particular Church was interfered with.

The characteristic religion of mid-nineteenth century was of this nature for it was made up of “a well-articulated body of doctrines and doctrinaires, effectively insulated against the corrosive forces of the new science and of social unrest by an other-worldly dualism that resulted in a smug preoccupation with the salvation and perfection of the individual.” (173)

Paul Varg points out that revivals were of value at this period for they instilled a new spirit into the evangelical churches.  As the revival spirit is hard to maintain church leaders sought f or another tool.  “To the religious liberals there was the challenge of harmonizing religious teaching with the new science and with the cause of economic and social justice, but the orthodox and their leader, Dwight L. Moody, simply dismissed science as a new source of heresy and wrote off slums and other social problems as products of sin. — The answer to the problem of avoiding a relapse from revivals into apathy was found in foreign missions.” (173.1)



While the Christ of the fundamentalist was a “Christ- against-culture,” and the Christ of the liberal Protestant a “Christ-of-culture,” (174) there still remained a large category of Christians who were somewhere between these extremes.  Their basic beliefs are transcendental but many of their social actions resemble those of the liberal Protestants. This range of behavior is adequately referred to by Max Weber as the Protestant Ethic. (H. Richard Niebuhr divides these people into three categories, but for the purposes of this paper the one general distinction will suffice).

A number of concepts discussed by Weber in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, and in The Religion of China (175) are of concern here.  One is the concept of the doctrine of predestination that was the dogmatic background of the Puritan morality.  This doctrine holds that man was predestined to go to Heaven or Hell; and that through the performance of good works and success in such works, man could know whether or not he was one of the “chosen.”  This doctrine of predestination and its corollary concept of works influenced not only the Calvinists but also to some degree the Presbyterians, Baptists, Puritans and Methodists. (176)

Parallel to this concept of works and perhaps deriving from it was the concept of a “calling.” Of this Weber says, “… the fulfillment of worldly duties is under all circumstances the only way to live acceptably to God.  It, and it alone, is the will of God, and hence every legitimate calling has exactly the same worth in the sight of God.” (177)  The impersonal, rational, and methodical application of ones self to the will of God, and the mastery of ones “calling” is clearly pointed out again by Weber:

Brotherly love, since it may only be practiced for the glory of God, and not in the service of the flesh, is expressed in the first place in the fulfillment of the daily tasks given by the lex naturae; and in the process, this fulfillment assumes a peculiarly objective and impersonal character—that of service in the interest of the rational organization of our social environment.  For the wonderfully purposeful organization and arrangement of this cosmos is, according both to the revelation of the Bible and to natural intuition, evidently designed by God to serve the utility of the human race.  This makes labour in the service of impersonal social usefulness appear to promote the glory of God, and hence to be willed by Him. (178)

In another work Weber restates this same concept, only this time tying it in to the knowledge of the sciences:

Useful and naturalist knowledge, especially empirical knowledge of natural sciences, geographical orientation, as well as the sober

clarity of a realist mind and specialized expert knowledge, were first cultivated as planned educational ends by Puritans in Germany, particularly by Pietist circles. Such knowledge was the only avenue to knowledge of God’s glory and the providence embodied in His creation. On the other hand, such knowledge served as a means of rationally mastering the world in one’s vocation, and it enabled one to do one’s duty in honor of God. (179)

In the various areas of activity engaged in by the missionary in China, one sees the effect of the Protestant ethic.  W.A.P. Martin stated: “Is it not meet that the political power and commercial predominance which spring from Christianity should cooperate in extending its blessings to all the nations of the earth?” (180)  The successes of the missionaries in their various enterprises assured them of

the validity of their “calling.”  Rev. Reid so defended his time and efforts spent among the higher classes of Chinese.  Of the arguments noted earlier in this paper on the introduction of science to the mission schoolroom, many stem from a point of view closer to the Protestant ethic than a view of a social Gospel.

The basic difference should be restated.  The believer of the Protestant ethic as described by Weber, Lead, and Niebuhr, holds that a person can, by the attainment of success in mundane affairs, be made aware that he may be one of the chosen to be saved in the hereafter.  The activity engendered by the Protestant ethic is a rational one, but not idealistic. The future of mankind on this earth is not the goal of their behavior, but rather the seeking for an awareness of the Grace of God manifest in their success in temporal activity.  In this light the Protestant is actively engaged in the affairs of the world and is religiously motivated to do so; but his reward is to be in Heaven.  In the last analysis his earthly activities did not secure for him his salvation; it only was a means of convincing himself he was one of the saved.

In contrast to this the idea of the social Gospel inspires its followers to actions which will be regarded on earth now, as well as later.  They believe that the Kingdom of God is to be established on earth and in that sense are idealists and are striving toward a common human goal. The action the Protestant ethic inspires is essentially selfish, as it is the search for ones own perfection, and not that of society in general.

One modern critic of the “missionary failure” in China sees only a twofold dichotomy in the orientation of the missionary:

… Christianity has come to China mainly in a somewhat liberal Protestant or a somewhat extreme conservative Protestant version …  Non-Roman Catholic Christianity has therefore tended to be divided largely into a liberal Christianity among the educated, which a hostile witness would describe as Confucianism in Christian dress; and a fundamentalist Christianity, which the same witness would find altogether too similar in its objectives to the crude drive for prosperity, here and hereafter, which is the point of popular Chinese superstition. By the former, theology was discarded in favor of psychology and sociology; by the latter, in favor of the learning by heart of the appropriate “party line.” (181)

I agree to the extent that the action, or lack of action on the part of the missionaries, could be spoken of in terms of a dichotomy; but when one analyzes the theological basis for such action, the dichotomy develops into a continuum.  Moving a little more to the left on this continuum we reach the social Gospel.  As this is perhaps the most important concept herein described it deserves a historical background which follows.

Chapter XIV


The nineteenth century was not one of great theologians or philosophers for Protestantism, but out of it came the concept currently called the “Social Gospel.” We trace its beginnings to the work of German theologians, and especially in A. Ritschl (1822-1889).  The religion of the Ritschlians was quite concerned with worldly affairs.  The Ritschlians laid great emphasis on the Kingdom of God.  To them the Kingdom was not a transcendental concept but was an ideal achievable in and through this world.  Christ was seen as a teacher of ethics. (182)

In England the Social Gospel was accepted and promulgated by such people as Samuel T. Coleridge, Thomas Arnold, F.D. Maurice, and others.  Coleridge was the earliest influence on the movement in England through his blending of religion, politics and education.  In Arnold, “the Coleridgean ‘Ideas’ became a program of action.  Arnold’s special greatness consists largely in this — that he had not only the desire, but the actual ability to make ideas real ….” (183) Thomas Arnold wrote:

When we look at the condition of our country; at the poverty and the wretchedness of so large a part of the working classes; at the intellectual and moral evils which certainly exist among the poor, but by no means amongst the poor only; and when we witness the many partial attempts

to remedy these evils — attempts benevolent indeed and wise so far as they go, but utterly unable to strike at the heart of the mischief, can any

Christian doubt that here is the work for the Church of Christ to do; that none else can do it; and that with the blessings of her Almighty Head, she can. (184)

Later, F.D. Maurice and the Christian socialists believing, as did the Ritschlians, that the Kingdom of God was real, conceived of it as the duty of the Church to strive for the attainment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Maurice’s theology was the basis for the social reforms which he and his followers in the Christian Socialist movement attempted in the years 1846-1854. (185)

The writings of  Maurice, Charles Kingsley, and Sir John Seeley had great effect in America. (186)   In America the Social Gospel was finding a reception especially as molded by the minds and writings of Horace Bushnell, Edward Beecher and Washington Gladden.

When one tries to clarify the institutional acceptance of the Social Gospel one finds the lines very indistinct.  One cannot say any particular creed incorporated the new concept of the social relationship of Christianity while another did not.  In China we find some Baptists among the most conservative of the fundamentalists and Rev. Timothy Richard, also a Baptist, one of the most liberal believers of the Social Gospel aspects of Christianity.  The same can be noted for members of the Presbyterian mission, some being very conservative and others extremely liberal (Rev. J. Butler and C.W. Mateer could represent the extremes  in Presbyterianism,    respectively).

At the extreme left of the conservatives, and having an influential position in the movement of the Social Gospel in America, were the Unitarians.

The Unitarian emphasis upon the ethical character of the true religion is well known … For it, the coming of the Kingdom meant social progress. Unitarian leaders occupied the front line among pioneers of the social gospel … .(187)

Another group that supplied many of the thinkers who popularized the new social movement was the Congregational Church.  Washington Gladden and Josiah Strong were Congregational ministers. The writings of these two men, as well as others, “exercised a determining influence upon the rising generation of young ministers” in America. (188)

Other writers point out that the Social Gospel reached America chiefly through the Protestant Episcopal communion and found acceptance in Presbyterianism and in all of the larger churches in the nation. (189)  The Social Gospel seems to have been a force that went beyond particular creeds and permitted members of all major creeds to apply the newly emphasized Christian ethic.

The Social Gospel did more than develop a social consciousness in the churches in America.  It utilized the new sciences in its effort to achieve the desired end. The Kingdom of God was to be achieved through the use of all the means available to man; and the wedding of religion and science in this period is one of the by-products of the social aims of the movement.  We made earlier reference to this in the study of the relationship of religion to science and the introduction of science

instruction in mission schools.  One of the greatest adherents to the concept of the Social Gospel in China, Timothy Richard, wrote in his autobiography:

In all lectures I pointed out how God had provided infinite powers for man’s use in the forces of Nature, in ignorance of which man lived like drudges and slaves … The matter of supreme importance was that we should study all the laws of God in Nature so as to gain the benefits that God intended to bestow upon us … (190)

The use of the sciences to attain the Kingdom of God led to the readiness to accept the concept of evolution and weave it into their theology. “It is to be noted,” writes Elliott-Binns in English Thought 1860-1900, “that both Idealists and Realists accepted the theory of evolution, though they took up a different attitude towards it. The Realists were only interested in the process as explaining man’s development in terms of nature; the Idealists laid emphasis on the supposed end towards which evolution was working — an end which they regarded as spiritual.”(191)  George H. Mead, in discussing the concept of “natural law,” pointed out:

…that science which gave this sort of a view of the world is the science which was enabling human initiative to reconstruct its world entirely and, through the reconstruction of his environment, enabling man to make an entirely different society. (192)

Throughout these comments we can see the tying together of the forces that gave strength to liberal Protestantism during the nineteenth century.  It was this belief in , and the Christian goal of such progress, that permitted the missionary to engage in his seemingly purely secular activities.  It was this force that permitted a missionary school to use Huxley’s Theory of Evolution as a textbook. (193)

The development of the Social Gospel strangely parallels the development of the Reform movement in China during the same period.  Both were fruits of conflicts between history and value.  The Confucian reformer wished to retain his allegiance to his Confucian values, and at the same time introduce the new sciences and learning from the west. The Christian tried to retain his Christianity, but at the same

time change it so that he could bring into it the new sciences and learning being developed in his own world.  The Ritschlians had to face

.. materialistic science which seemed to many to be destined to take all knowledge for its province and to make any kind of idealistic or theistic philosophy out of date.  When we detect, as we surely must, inconsistency and ambiguity in their theology, we must bear in mind that they were desperately defending the right of Christian faith to exist. They chose to retire into the fortress of value.  Perhaps they were right. At any rate, it is clear that Christian faith begins as a value judgment, and that the scientific method can not tell us what is either good or beautiful. (194)

Or, as an American writer has pointed out, “The American social gospel is but one of the latest adjustments of the Christian ethic to the exigencies of history.” (l95)

The close relationship between the Reformers and the missionary is known. Timothy Richard, one of the most liberal of the Protestant missionaries, was a very respected counselor to the Chinese leaders of reform.  Many liberal missionaries were called upon to direct colleges and various other “reform” enterprises in China.     While the Reform movement in China was crushed in 1898, the idea for which the reformers fought ultimately had to be accepted by the government.  The liberal

Protestants had their theological setbacks from such eminent theologians and philosophers as William James and Albert Schweitzer, but were not at all deterred.

Both the Chinese and the Protestant reformers knew what their opponents did not know; namely, that it mattered not what theology, theory, or rationalization they used; for in the ultimate analysis, Confucianism and Christianity had to reform, or die.  Confucianism is dead — killed by revolution and nailed in its coffin by Communism.  Christianity could also die if it failed to acknowledge the social needs of man. When it fails in this task, it is severely subject to attack by Communism as the “opiate of the people.”  A cogent statement bearing this out is offered by a former missionary to China:

…Our social service work, and especially our rural service, has been frustrated by the relation of poverty to the power of the landlord, and by the prevalence of corruption.  Without a direct attack upon these forces serious progress cannot be made.  Such an attack means revolution, and this was beyond us.  I am not arguing that we were wrong to refuse the revolutionary role; only that in a situation which involves revolution, those who decline that role cannot hope to build up rural society… (196)

He also raises the question of  “Why did almost every missionary support his own local warlord?” (197)



In surveying the field of missionary enterprises in China we see some missionary’s intent only on preaching the word of God, others engaging in limited secular activity, and those who seem to have given up the preaching of the word for these other activities.  Can we say that those who were engaged in such activities as opening of schools wherein sciences were taught, planning the reformation of the Chinese school system, or in the translating of western secular books into Chinese, were expressions of a belief in the Social Gospel rather than an expression of the Protestant ethic?  A look at the goals of the activities and the language used will help determine the answer.

Kenneth Scott Latourette, in his History of the Christian Missions in China, speaks generally of the various motivations behind the social activities of the missionary:

…Parallel with the desire for an inward transformation of character was the purpose of alleviating much of the physical distress and of correcting what the missionary deemed the social and intellectual evils of China.  Institutions grew up, therefore, for the relief of suffering; schools for the education of Christians and non-Christians arose; literature for introducing new ideas was prepared, and movements against opium and, to a lesser extent, against foot-binding, were fostered.  The institutions were usually believed to be of value only as they contributed to leading the Chinese into the Christian life, but here and there were indications that in time Missionaries might conceive of this purpose as secondary. (198)

In this quotation we can see a dichotomy of thought.  On the one hand is the inward transformation of character, or individual salvation; and on the other is the correction of the social and intellectual evils. This difference between the conversion of the individual and the conversion of the state is one of the primary differences between the views of the fundamentalist, the believer in the Protestant ethic, and the believer in the social gospel.

W.A.P. Martin, in the Chinese Recorder of March 1897, showed further the concept of believers in the social gospel:

When Mencius was asked by the Prince of Liang what he had brought to enrich his kingdom he replied, “Humanity and Justice; nothing more.”  In fact there was nothing more that he was competent to teach. When the Christian missionary is greeted with the same question he might give the same reply — righteousness and humanity– and something more. “Yes,” he might say, “I bring with me all the forces necessary for the regeneration of the individual and the renovation of the State.” (199)

Timothy Richard wrote that there are two ways of looking at the blessings of the gospel.  One is the salvation of the individual soul, and the other is the salvation of the nation. (200)  As individual beliefs can be attacked, so can national beliefs be attacked;  and by changing society one can lead it toward the Kingdom of God on earth.  In 1896 Richard wrote:

Note well that immense accessions to the Churches follow great material benefits conferred.  To some that is bribing people to become Christians.  But that seems to be a strange perversion of the glory of the Gospel of Christ. Moses led the children of Israel to Canaan, the promised land.  They seem to forget the vast temporal blessings which our Lord said would become universal by the establishment of His kingdom on earth.  The whole world is a promised land of the children of God now.  Whatever good other religions confer on the nations politically, socially, or materially, it is the object of Christianity to confer more of this good. … And as to traditional creeds they are interesting as historical landmarks in religious history, but they become treasonable documents when they divide the people of God.  We must turn our faces from these towards those effectual, practical truths that unite all good men.  These creeds often only touch upon fractional departments of the Kingdom, while the bulk of Christian work is for- gotten.  Mint and anise are tithed and the weightier matters are neglected.  Even these fractional truths are doubtful when we test them by our Lord’s great cannon — “By their fruit ye shall know them.” …There is to be a judgment day when men shall be judged according to their deeds. Mark that.  The 25th chapter of Matthew speaks of deeds not creeds. … Christianity… is concerned for all nations and peoples in Asia.  It has missionaries everywhere, who not only point to a higher life in every department, but also to the practical means of attaining that life.  It finds Asia poor and naked and oppressed, ignorant and miserable, and imperfectly acquainted with God.  It wants to make it well-to-do, well-sheltered, well-informed, a happy conscious child of God and a glad heir of immortality.  Bringing such glad tidings of great

joy to Asia no Asiatic can be anything but grateful to it. (201)

The concept of the establishment of the Kingdom of God allowed the missionaries to teach to the non-Christian students in their schools various disciplines of western learning, feeling that even though the student might not become Christian he may still bring about the social change deemed necessary.  Early in this paper we quoted a liberal Protestant who felt that less direct religious instruction in their schools would help the church; for, he claimed, “work conducted along these lines may not, perhaps, bring a great number to our theological department, but still I think you will grant that we are doing something toward the evangelization of the world; for whenever we bring our students nearer to the Kingdom of God, we have not failed in our work.” (203)

A Chinese newspaper editorial in 1877 suggested that the model missionary was to go to a distant town and learn the language of the people.  He was to gain the respect of the townsmen by helping them in civic reforms such as street cleaning, developing proper land drainage, and opening a school where the classics would be taught by a Chinese scholar, while the missionary taught only the sciences.  Only after such social reforms were instituted should the missionary show how these blessings derived from Christianity. (202)

This activity on the part of the missionary to introduce the civilization of the west based on the belief that western civilization more nearly approximated the hoped for Kingdom of God led to statements such as that noted above “… good guns are true civilizers …”

Paul Varg notes in his recent book, Missionaries, Chinese and Diplomats :

The social gospel wing of missionaries tried desperately to make Christianity relevant to the problems of hunger, disease, floods, famine, illiteracy, and the deplorable working conditions of factory labor.  The great majority of missionaries did not go along; they side-stepped political and economic issues and sought to convince the Chinese that their problems were spiritual.  Neither group of missionaries had any significant success. (204)

In viewing the totality of the Chinese scene one could agree with Paul Varg that “neither group had any significant success.”  But it seems that in a closer analysis of the particular activities of the missionaries one must observe that those missionaries who were interested in the relationship of Christianity to culture were the ones who introduced most of the new learning into China in the nineteenth century.

In an attempt to seek a correlation between various missionary sects in China and their participation in secular activities we note the following statistics for 1890. (205)

                                       Foreign               Pupils in

Denomination           Missionaries            Schools             Communicants

Presbyterian                       259                       3,487                      12,347

(%  of total)                       20%                       22%                         33%

                           Methodist                           180                       4,417                        6,954                          

                                           14%                       26%                         19%

Congregational                   151                       3,198                       5,627

                                           12%                       19%                         15%

Baptist                                111                          868                        3,471

                                           09%                        05%                          9%

Episcopal                              92                       3,123                        3,245

                                             07%                      19%                          09%

Unclassified                        503                       l,733                         5,643

                                            38%                        9%                          15%

British                                 724                      6,079                       21,068

                                            56%                      36%                      56-1/2% 

American                            513                      9,757                       13,572

                                           40%                      58%                        36-1/2%

From these figures we can note the following: 1) The Episcopal Church had the lowest ratio of missionaries to students in schools and the highest ratio of students to communicants.  2) That the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian churches also placed great emphasis on education.  3) That British societies, with 56% of the missionaries, had only 36% of the student enrollment while the American societies, with 40% of the total number of missionaries in China had 58% of the students.  These figures, while quantitatively of interest, tell us nothing of the type of school or instruction given in each so we still cannot utilize them to establish the particular sect or sects in a specific place on a fundamentalist-liberal continuum. Their specific location is dependent on the variable of the social outlook of the particular missionary.

There is a danger of trying to over simplify the possible relationship between sect and education and emphasis on the social gospel.  An emphasis on education does not denote the end of such education.  We showed earlier how a number of missionaries engaged in educational activities merely as an evangelical tool.  Other  sects, especially those deriving from Calvinism, emphasize education but for an end that is discussed under the “Protestant Ethic” above.  Since the social gospel was trans-denominational we could expect any sect to have some followers influenced by the new ethic.  To determine any further correlation between sect and emphasis on the social gospel movement as expressed in education in China would require knowledge of the avowed purposes of specific mission schools as well as an indication of their curriculum.  We could venture that the correlation would be positive between emphasis on education and interest in the social gospel, as education is one of the major means of attaining the knowledge necessary for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.



The problem herein considered is the relationship between the two universals introduced by the missionary and their relationship to the particulars and universals of the Chinese.

The missionary brought with him several kinds of knowledge.  Christianity, a “universalistic” religion, at least to Christians, was the prime message of the missionary.  Along with this he brought a universalistic science, but as this science grew up in western culture, it was dressed in western particulars.  In introducing western sciences the missionary was also introducing western culture.

The Chinese also had their universals and particulars.  Confucianism was their universal and its expression in Chinese culture and history was their particular. With the coming of the Westerner Chinese culture and values were threatened.  To the Reformers, Confucianism contained truth, but not all truth; and using various rationalizations elements of western learning were introduced to make their truth whole.  This did not work (see Joseph R. Levenson, Confucian China and Its Modern Fate) and the revolutionaries and iconoclasts sought to discard their particular history and culture, and also their former universal, which was now seen as a particular.  In its place these new intellectuals took from the west that which they recognized as the only universal — western sciences.  They ignored Christianity, for it, too, they saw as a particular — a western particular.  For, as much as the missionary would or could teach the compatibility of Christianity to “all truth,” to sciences to the “natural laws of God,” etc., Christianity remained a revealed religion. The supporting arguments from science were deistic arguments at best, and could very easily, in other hands, become atheistic arguments.

We may question, then, whether the fundamentalists were not right in keeping their Christ a “Christ-against-culture,” and ignoring all expressions of culture, both Chinese and western (unless they were antithetical to their Christianity), and concentrate only on preaching the word of God as revealed in the Bible.  That they felt that they were right is un-questioned.  But it is this very stand that makes them most susceptible to attack from the reformers, revolutionaries, and especially from the Communists for this is the religion that is designated by the Communists as the “opiate of the masses.”  Any movement designed to ameliorate the social ills of this world must, perforce, look antagonistically toward a dogma that calls this world and its ills superficial. When the uncomplaining masses are willing to seek their reward in heaven, they ignore the ills of the world, or accept them as their lot.

We may suggest then that if China was to become Christian the Christianity it accepted would have to be a liberal Christianity.  If we carry liberal Protestantism

far enough, through Unitarianism to Humanism, one would find complete accord with the goals of the reformers and revolutionaries, and to some extent the communists.  But in this swing to the extreme left one swings right off the scale of a “Christ-against-culture”—“Christ-of-culture” continuum.  One is left with a culture without a Christ, Christ being replaced by man.  One has swung right out of Christianity.

In China we saw that the missionary who’s Christ was a “Christ-against-culture,” the transcendentalist, other-worldly missionary, was least interested in any engagement in social action.  For him the salvation of the individual was the only thing that mattered.  The Protestant missionary in China whose Christ was a  “Christ-of-culture” was most interested in changing society and this enabled him to translate books on western learning and to teach such in his schools.  One writer claims that the missionary was not radical enough.  Another sees the missionary movement falling into the hands of the Communists.  It is not our purpose to decide which was the best approach.  Rather it is to note that the answers found by individuals for the relationship of a religion to a culture serve as forces for social action and change, both in the religion and in the culture.


1.  “Statistics of Protestant Missionary Societies in China-1898”,   Chinese Recorder. March 1899.  p. 144.  (Hereafter referred to as C.R.)

2.  “Correspondence,” C.R., April 1698. p. 191.

3.  Anthony C. Li, The History of Privately Controlled Higher Education in the Republic of China. Washington: Catholic University Press, 1954. P. 13.

4.  Kuo Ping-wen, The Chinese System of Public Education. N.Y.: 1915.  p. 64.

5.  Rev. Dodd, “Boys Boarding Schools,” Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China, held at Shanghai May 10 – 24, 1877.  Shanghai: Presbyterian Mission Press, 1878. p. 191.  (Hereafter referred to as Records … 1877.)

6.  G.W. Painter, “Discussions,” Records … 1877.  p. 199.

7.  Rev. L.B. Peet, “Mission Schools,” C.R., 1869. p. 132.

8.  Harlan P. Beach, Dawn on the Hills of T’ang. N.Y.: Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1898. p. 119.  See also Rev. Thompson, “Day Schools,” Records… 1877,  p. 181.

9.  North China Herald. Nov. 29, 1851.

10. Robert Needham Cust, Notes on Missionary Subjects. London: Elliot Stock, 1889. p. 7.

11. John Fryer, First Report of the Anglo-Chinese School. Shanghai; 1865.  See also Rev. R.H. Graves, “Some Personal Reminiscenses of Thirty Years Mission Work.” C.R., 1886.

12. Rev. C.F. Kupfer, “Education in China,” C.R., 1886, p. 454.

13. Rev. C.W. Mateer, “Relations of Protestant Missions to Education.,” Records…1877. p. 179.

14.  Rev. J.H. Judson, “Notes and Items,” C.R.,  March 1897.

15.  Report of the Committee Appointed by the Ratepayers in Annual Meeting Assembled on the 24th February, 1882, to Investigate and Report upon the Condition of Foreign Education in Shanghai.  Shanghai: North China Herald Office, 1882. p. 24.

16.  Ibid. p. 26.

17.  Rev. Thompson, “Day Schools,” Records of … 1877,  p.182.

18.  Committee of Reference and Counsel of the Foreign Missions Conference of North America, Christian Education in China. New York: Committee of Reference and Counsel, 1922. p. 33.

19.  Rev. F.L. Hawks Pott, “The Aim of a Christian School in China,” Educational Association of China. Records of the Third Triennial Meeting of the Educational Association of China held at Shanghai, May 17-20, 1899. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1900. p. 67, 68.  (Hereafter referred to as Records … 1899).

20.  “English Methodist College,” Data Respecting the Christian Schools and Colleges in China, 1909.  (Bound replies to questionnaire). (Hereafter referred to as Data re. Schools).

21.  Ibid. “Foochow College.”

22.  Ibid. “Anglo-Chinese College.”

23.  Rev. C.F. Kupfer, “Education in China,” C.R., 1886. p. 417.

24.  “The Missionary Enterprise,” C.R. 1880. p. 341.

25.  Rev. John C. Ferguson., “The Work of Our Association.” E.A.C.  Records of the Triennial Meeting of the Educational Association of China , 1893. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1893. p. 21

26.  Rev. C. Hartwell, “How may we best foster self-support in our Native Churches?” C.R.   August 1889. p. 364.

27.  Beach. Loc. Cit.

28.  Rev. A.P. Harper, “ Editorial Notes and Missionary News,”  C.R.

Dec. 1889.  p. 577.

29.  E.J. Newton, “Course of Study in Girls schools,”  Records …1899. p. 151.

30.   Rev. B.C. Henry, “Shall We Assist the Chinese in Acquiring a Knowledge of the English Language?” C.R. , 1881,  p. 225.

31.  John Fryer, Second Report of the Anglo-Chinese School.  July 5, 1897.
Fryer Papers, University of California, Berkely.

32.   “Missionary News,” C.R., 1881. p. 240.

33.   Data re. Schools.  Summary of Statistics.

34.   Rev. C.F. Kupfer, “Our Attitude to the Literature of China,” C.R., June 1897. p. 186.

35.   Report of the Committee appointed by the Ratepayers in Annual Meeting… Shanghai: North China Herald Office, 1882. p. 18.

36.   Rev. Y.K.Yen., Records…1893. p. 15.

37.   Rev. T. Richard, “Address,”  Records…1893. p. 10;  see also Rev. Dodd, “Boys Boarding Schools,”  Records…1877. p. 192;  Rev. R. Lechler, “On the Relationship of Protestant Missions to Education,” Records… 1877. p. 164;  Thompson, “Day Schools,” Records…1817. p. 185.

38.  Rev. Hampden DuBose, “The Chinese Classics in Mission Schools,” C.R., 1879. p.285;  Lechler, Op.cit. p. 167.

39.  John Fryer, First Report of the Anglo-Chinese School.  Dec. 1865.  Fryer Papers. University of California.

40.   John Fryer, Second Report…

41.   Data re Schools.  Summary of Statistics.

42.   Rev. R. Lechler, loc. Cit.

43.   Rev. J. Butler, “Discussions,” Records…1877. p. 198.

44.   Rev. D.Z. Sheffield, Ibid. p. 203.

45.   Rev. L.H. Gulick,  Ibid. .p. 198;  “Correspondence,”  C.R. April 1898.  p. 191.

46. Rev. Griffith John,  “Discussions,”  Records.. 1877. p. 236.

47.  Rev. C.W. Mateer, “‘Discussions,”  Records…1899.  p. 145.

48.  Rev. C.W. Mateer, “Discussions,” Records…1877.  p. 240;  see also Rev. C.W. Mateer, “Relationship of  Protestant Missions to Education,” Records… 1877.  p. 177;  Rev. B.C. Henry, “Shall We Assist the Chinese in Acquiring a Knowledge of the English Language” C.R. 1881. p. 225.

49. Rev. C.W. Mateer, “The Relation of Protestant Missions to Education,” Records… 1877.  p. 179;  W.A.P. Martin, “Secular Literature,” Ibid. p. 232;  J.G. Kerr, “Medical Mission,” Ibid. . p. 166;  C.W. Mateer, “Discussions,”  Ibid.  p. 73;  Carl f.  Kupfer, “Discussion,” Report…1899.  p. 147;  North China Herald, March 8, 1851, p. 127.

50. W.A.P. Martin,  “Secular Literature,” Records…1877.  p. 230.

51.  Rev. C. W. Mateer, “The Relation of Protestant Missions to Education,” Records … 1877.  p. 173.

52.  Vinent Cronin,  The Wise Man From the West. N.Y.: Dutton, 1955.  p. 138.

53.  Data re Schools.  Chuchow Christian School.”

54.  Rev. C.W. Mateer, “Discussions” Records… 1877. p. 240; Rev. W.A.P. Martin, “Secular Literature,” Records… 1877.  p. 234.

55.  Rev. F.D. Gamewell, “Science Teaching and Scientific Training,” Records…1899.  p. 124;   Rev. D.Z. Sheffield, “Christian Education,” Records… 1899.  P. 26.

56.  Rev. F.D. Gamewell , Ibid. p. 131.

  1. Rev. C.W. Mateer, “The Relation of Protestant Missions to Education,” Records…1877.  p. 171.
  2. Rev. C.W. Mateer, Ibid. p. 176;  Rev. B.C. Henry,  op. cit. p. 236; Rev. B.C. Henry, op. cit. p. 230; Rev. D.Z. Sheffield, “Christian Education,”  Records…1899. p. 28. 
  3. Thomas F. Hoult, The Sociology of Religion.  N.Y.;  Dryden Press, 1958. p. 358.
  4. Paul Hazard, European Thought in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1954.  p. 113.
  5. L.E. Elliott-Binns, English Thought 1860-1900.  Greenwich, Connecticut; the Seabury Press, 1954.  p. 113.
  6.   Ibid. p. 43.
  7. Paul Hazard, op. cit. p. 116.
  8.   Ibid. p. 129.
  9.   Basil Wiley, Nineteenth Century Studies, Coleridge to Mathew Arnold.  London: Chatto and windus, 1949. p. 117.
  10. Edward A. White,  Science and Religion in American Thought, The Impact of Naturalism. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1952. p.11.
  11. Ibid.  p. 12.
  12.   Ibid.
  13. Robert S. Schwantes “Christianity Versus Science; A Conflict of Ideas in Meiji Japan,”  Far Eastern Quarterly. Feb. 1953.   p. 125, 127.
  14.   Rev. C. F. Kupfer, “Education in China,” C.R., 1886. p. 421.
  15. Rev. D.Z. Sheffield, “Christian Education,” Records… 1899.  p. 20.
  16. Rev. D.Z. Sheffield, “The Importance of Ethical Teaching in the New Learning of China,” C.R., June, July 1898. p. 345.
  17. Rev. D.Z. Sheffield “Christian Education,” Records…. 1899.  p. 24.
  18. Rev. F.D. Gamewell,  “Science Teaching and Scientific Training,” Records…1899.  p. 131.
  19. Ibid. p. 124.
  20.  Rev. S.L. Baldwin, “Christian Literature, what has been done and what is needed,: Records…1877.
  21. Rev. W.A.P. Martin, “Secular Literature,” Records…1877. p. 230.
  22. Rev. B.C. Henry, op. cit. p. 226.
  23. Rev. A.P. Parker, “Some Educational Problems,”  Records…1899. p. 38.
  24. John Fryer, Letter Journals.  Volume IV, letter 4, dtd. 4 March 1867.  Fryer Papers.  University of California.
  25.  Rev. A.P. Parker, “The Competency of the Chinese Language,” C.R., Aug. 1889.  p. 347.
  26.   Rev. L.B. Pilcher, “the New Education in China,” C.R., Aug. 1889.  p. 348.
  27. John Kesson, The Cross and The Dragon. London-. Smith Elder & Co., 1654. p. 235.

84.   John Fryer, First Report of the Anglo-Chinese Schoo1.  Dec. 1865. Fryer Papers, University of California.

85.  John Fryer, “Letter to ‘My Dear Cousin”‘ May 7, 1866. Benjamin Fryer Papers.

86.  ibid.

87.  C.D. Tenny “The English Language in Chinese Educational Work,” C.R. p. 469.

88.  DR. E. Faber, “Discussion,” Records…1893. p. 17.

89. North China Herald. March 8, 1851. p. 127.

90.   Alexander Wylie, Memorials of Protestant Missionaries to the Chinese.   Shanghai:  American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1867. Index III.

91.  Supreme Court and Consular Gazatte.  Shanghai: 16 Jan. 1868.

92. “Missionary Conference,” C.R.,  1877.  p. 247.

93. John Fryer, “Letter of 4 May 1869,”  Fryer Papers.  University of California.

94. John Fryer, “Letter of 3 June 1869,”  Fryer Papers.  University of California.

95.  John Fryer, An Account of the Department for the Translation of Foreign Books at the Kiangnan Arsenal,Shanghai. American Presbyterian Press, 1880. p. 18.

96. Alice Gregg, China and Educational Autonomy. N.Y.; Syracuse University Press, 1946. p. 19.

97.  Rev. S.L. Baldwin, “Christian Literature., What has been done and what is needed,”  Records … 1877. p. 209.

98.  “Missionary News,”  C.R., 1880.

99.  Rev. W.S. Holt, “Discussions,”  Records … 1877. p. 236.

100. “The School and Textbook Series,” C.R., 1881. p. 91.

101. John Fryer, (lecture) “Can Western Knowledge be More Effectually Imparted to the Chinese Nation for the Time Being by Giving Them Translations of Foreign Books or By Teaching Them to Speak and Read Foreign Languages?” Fryer Papers, University of California. p. 9

102.  John Fryer,  “Christian Educationn—past, present and Future.” C.R.,  August 1897. p. 385.

103.  MacGillivray,  A Century of Protestant Missions in China 1807-1907. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1907. p. 634.

104.  “In Preparation,”  C.R., January 1903.  p. 44.

105.  “Notes and Items,”   August 1897. p. 388.

106.  Cyrus H. Peake,  Nationalism and Education in Modern China.  N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 1932.  p. 15.

107.  Rev. Thompson, “Day Schools,”  Records..-1877.  p.182.

108.  Ibid. p.183.

109.  Rev. R. H. Graves,  “Some Personal Reminiscences of Thirty Years’ Mission Work,” C.R., 1886. p. 431.

110.  “Missionary Conference held at Ku-ling,” C.R.,  December 1898.  p. 584.

111.  Rev. D. N. Lyon, ‘Mission Day Schools for the Chinese,” C.R.  1897. p. 2.

112.  “Notes and Items,” C.R., 1898. p. 241.

113.  Rev. Dodd, “Boys Boarding Schools”  Records…1877.  p. 193.

114.  Mrs. F. F. Gough, “Day Schools, Male and Female,”  Records … 1877.            p. 168.

115.  “Bible Training School.-“  Data re. Schools.

116.  Rev. B. Helm, “Discussion,”   Records … 1877.  p. 200.

117.  Robert E. Lewis, The Educational Conquest Of the Far East. N.Y.:  Fleming H. Revel Co., 1903.  p. 183.

118.  “Report of the Committee  on Industrial Education.”   C. R.,  1889.  p. 49.

119.  Ibid.

120.  Jobn Fryer, Letter to “My Dear Cousin,”  May 7, 1866.  Benjamin Fryer Papers.

121.  Gregg, op. cit. p. 18.

122.  Ibid.

123.  The China Mission Hand-Book.  Shanghai:  American Presbyterian Mission Press. 1896.  p. 326.

124.  “Statistics of Protestant Missionary Societies in China, 1898”.  p. 144.

125.   MacGillivray, op. cit. p. 673. 

126.  Descriptive Catalogue and Price List of …the Educational Association of China.  Shanghai:  American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1894.  p. vi.

127.  “British Missions Falling Behind in China,”  C.R.,  April 1899.  p. 193.

128.  Kenneth Scott Latourette. A History of the Expansion of Christianity.  N.Y.:  Harper and Brothers, 1941.  Vol. 4.  p. 95.

129.  Rufus  Anderson,  Foreign Missions: their Relations and Their Claims.  N.Y.:  Charles Scribner and Co., 1869. p. 27. 

130.  Kenneth Scott Latourette,  A History of the Expansion of Christianity.  Vol. 4, p. 95.

131.  Cronin,  op.cit.  p. 106.

132.  Kesson, op. cit. p. 209.

133.   Information  from discussion with Fr. Serruys Moraga

134.  Columbia Cary-Elwes, China and the Cross. N.Y.: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1956.  p. 218; “Correspondence,” C.R., 1889. p.182.

135. Report on the Missionary Conference held in Shanghai, May 1860.  Shanghai: North china Herald, 1890.

136.  Cary-Elwes, op.cit. p. 216.

137.  Timothy Richard, Forty-five Years in China.  New York: Fred A. stokes, 1918. p. 80.

138.  Cust, op.cit. p. 31.

139.  Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of the Christian Missions in China.  N.Y.:  the Macmillan Co., 1929.  p. 433.

140.   W.A.P. Martin, “The Worship of Confucius. Is it Idolatry?”  C.R., Feb. 1903. p.92. (Underlining his).

141.   “The Position of Missionaries,” North China Herald. 11 Jan. 1872.

142.   Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity. vol. iv., p. 77.

143.   John R. Mott, “Dominant Impressions on China,”  C.R., July 1897. p. 305.

144.   Committee of Reference and Counsel, Ibid. p. 14.

145.   A China Missionary, “The Debacle of Christian Missions in China.” African Affairs. Vol. 51, no. 202 (Jan. 1952). p. 35.

146.   On the language reforms suggested by the missionary, see C.R. issues: July 1897, April 1898, May 1899, January 1902  and February 1902 (several articles).

147.   “The Chinese Question in America.,”  C.R., 1886. pp.201, 202.

148.   Paul Varg,  Missionaries, Chinese and Diplomats.  Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1958.  p. 95.

149.   Robert E. Lewis,  op.cit. p. 178.

150.   North China Herald, March 8, 1951 [?].  p. 127.

151.   Rev. John C. Ferguson, “The Work of Our Association,”  Records…1893. p. 24.

152.   “Committee on Educational Reform,”  Records… 1899. p. 17.

153.   “Notes and Items,” C.R., August 1897. p. 388.

154.  Rev. William Ashmore, “The Missionary Movement in China,” C.R.,

Sept. 1898. p. 426.

155.   Rev. Timothy Richard, “Educational Problems of China,” Records…1899. p. 46.

156.   “Notes on the Missionary Conference at Pei-to-ho,” C.R., 1898. p. 574.

157.   “Missionary Conference held at Ku-1ing,” Dec. 1898. p. 584.

158.   Rev. A.P. Parker, “Some Educational Problems,” Records… 1899. p. 34.

159.   Ibid. p. 37.

160.   Rev. C. W. Mateer, “Plans for the Future, Records… 1899.  p. 123.

161.  “Committee on Educational Reform,” Records…1899. p. 16.

162.  Dr. R.T. Bryan, “Discussion,” Records… 1899.  p. 113.

163.  Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1930. p. 225.

164.  Charles H. Hopkin, The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism 1865-1915. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940. p. 15.

165.  Willey,  op.cit. p. 133.

166.  Cust, op. cit., p. 17.

167.  Rev. Wm. Ashmore, “The Missionary and His Mission,” C.R.,  Nov. 1897. p. 511.

168.  Supreme Court and Consular Gazette. Shanghai, Jan. 16, 1868.

169.   Rev. J.N.B. Smith, “The Best Results and the Best Methods,”  C.R., Nov. 1897. p. 524.

170.  “Notes and Items,” C.R., Sept. 1897. p. 442.

171.  Rev. L.E. Louvet in Alexander Michie, Missionaries in China. Tientsin: The Tientsin Press, 1893. (Appendix 1).

172.  Paul Tillich, “Freedom and the Ultimate Concern” in John Cogley (ed.), Religion in America. N.Y,:  Meridian Books, 1958. p. 274.

173.  C.E. Hopkins, op. cit.,  p.14.

174.  The two terms are from H. Richard Niebuhr’s book Christ and Culture.

175.  Max Weber The Protestant Ethic (f.n. 163, above);   The Religion of China.  Glencoe:  The Free Press, 1951.

176.  Weber,  The Protestant Ethic.  p. 125.

177.  Ibid.  p. 81.

178. Ibid.  p. 108.

179. Weber, The Religion of China. p. 246.

180.  W.A.P. Martin, “Western Science as Auxiliary to the Spread of the Gospel,” C.R., March 1897. p. 111.

181.  A China Missionary, op.cit., p. 33.

182.  Elliott-Binns, op.cit. p.72, p. 333.  For an excellent study of Ritschl see Frederick Kershner, Pioneers of Christian Thought, Chapter XVI.

183.  Willey, op.cit. p. 49, p. 53.

184.  Ibid. p. 62.

185.  Cyril K. Gloyn,  The Church in The Social Order. Forest Grove, Oregon: P.133; Hopkins, op. cit. p. 6.

186.   Hopkins, op.cit. p. 22.

187.   Ibid. pp.14, 22;  K.S. Latourette,  A History of Christianity, N.Y.:  Harper & Bros., 1953. p. 1263.

188.  William W. Sweet, The Story of Religion in America.  N.Y.: Harper & Bros., 1950.  p. 356.

189.  Ibid. See also Hopkins, pp. 5, 16, 19.

190.  T. Richard, Forty-five Years in China.  p. 163.

191.  E.A. White, op. cit., p.3; Elliott-Binns, op. cit. p. 71. 

192.   George H. Mead, Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century.  Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1936. p. 250.

193.  Nathaniel Gist Gee,  The Educational Directory for China.  Educational Association of China, 1905.  p. 143. For an interesting article on the conflict of science and religion in the missionary activities see: Robert S. Schwantes, “Christianity versus Science; A Conflict of ideas in Meiji Japan,”  Far Eastern Quarterly, 12:123-32 (Feb. 1953).

194.  Elliott-Binns, op. cit., p. 74.

195.   Hopkins, op. cit., p. 3.

196.  A Chinese Missionary,  op. cit.,  p. 36.     

197.  Ibid.

198.  K.S. Latourette, A History of Christian Missions in China.  p. 416.

199.  W.A.P. Martin, “Western Science as Auxiliary to the Spread of the Gospel,” C.R., March 1897.  p. 111.

200.  T. Richard, “One Great Missionary Secret,” C.R., March 1901, p. 124.

201.  T. Richard,  “Christian Missions in Asia,”  China Mission Handbook. p. 75.

202.   “The Model Missionary,”  The Celestial Empire,  May 26, 1877.

203.  See f.n. 17 above.

204.  Varg, op.cit.  p. 320.

205.  Records…1890.  p. 733.


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